WMU Hockey Inks Nine
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan hockey program and head coach Andy Murray have announced the signing of nine student-athletes to national letters of intent to play hockey at WMU on Tuesday afternoon.
Chris Dienes (Traverse City, Mich./Fargo Force, USHL), Sheldon Dries (Macomb, Mich./Green Bay Gamblers, USHL), Aaron Hadley (Castlegar, B.C./Vernon Vipers, BCHL), Michael McCarron (Macomb, Mich./USNTDP U-18, USHL), Mike McKee (Newmarket, Ont./Lincoln Stars, USHL), Sam Mellor (Cranbrook, B.C./Penticton Vees, BCHL), Kyle Novak (O’Fallon, Mo./Green Bay Gamblers, USHL), Michael Rebry (Clear Creek, Ont./Penticton Vees, BCHL) and Paul Stoykewych (Winnipeg, Man./Winnipeg Blues, MJHL) have all pledged their futures to the Broncos.
“We’ve added different elements,” Murray said on the class of six forwards and three defensemen. “We’ve added some offensive skill. We’ve added some physical power. We’ve added some play-makers. We’ve added some guys who can score. There are different elements there. Certainly, our size is continuing to be enhanced.”
Chris Dienes - Fargo Force, USHL - Defenseman - Left Shot - 6’2, 195 lbs
Dienes, a 6-foot-2 195-pound defenseman signed with the Broncos last season as well, and is in his second season in the United Stats Hockey League. Through 17 games this season he has recorded a goal and two assists with a +2 plus/minus rating. Last season with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders he appeared in 37 games total, racking up 12 points and finished with a +4.
Assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Rob Facca on Dienes - “Chris is a smart, big, puck-moving defenseman. He skates very well and has a very good stick.”
Sheldon Dries - Green Bay Gamblers, USHL - Forward - Left Shot - 5’9, 175 lbs
Dries is in his second full season with Green Bay and helped the Gamblers to a Clark Cup last season. Including the playoffs he totaled 45 points with 20 goals and 25 assists, also racking up 126 penalty minutes. This season Dries is captaining the Gamblers and has appeared in 13 games tallying seven points. Dries missed some of the USHL season this year to captain the United States in the World Junior A Championship, helping the team win the gold medal over Canada West.
Coach Facca on Dries - “Sheldon is a skilled, hard-nosed forward. He plays both ends of the rink very well. He is a definite leader out on the ice.”
Aaron Hadley - Vernon Vipers, BCHL - Forward - Right Shot - 6’3, 200 lbs
Hadley captained the Canada West team that lost to Dries and the USA. He is in his third season in the BCHL and, including through 21 games this year, has appeared in 134 total with 34 goals and 44 assists. Last season he totaled 40 points on career-highs of 17 goals and 23 assists.
Coach Facca on Hadley - “Aaron is a big strong winger who possesses a very high hockey IQ. He is a definite power forward type player.”
Michael McCarron - USNTDP U-18 Team, USHL - Forward - Right Shot - 6’5, 227 lbs
McCarron is in his first season with the United States National Development Program’s Under-18 team after playing with the U-17 lasts season. Through 21 games, both in the USHL and internationally, he has netted three goals and eight assists for 11 points. He recently netted two goals and one assist in the Four Nation’s tournament, which the United States won. Last season with the U-17 team he appeared in 53 games, scoring six goals and 21 assists. The NHL Central Scouting service has rated him a “B” skater for the 2013 NHL Draft. McCarron is also ranked as the seventh best skater in the USHL and third-best forward.
Coach Facca on McCarron - “Michael is another big-strong power forward type player that can skate well for a guy his size. He has a good stick and likes to play physical.”
Mike McKee - Lincoln Stars, USHL - Defenseman - Left Shot - 6’5, 235 lbs
McKee, who also signed with WMU last season, was drafted in the fifth round, 140th overall, by the Detroit Red Wings this summer. He is in his second season in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars and is captaining the team this year. Last season he appeared in 67 games, scoring two goals with 17 assists and racked up 237 penalty minutes. This season he has appeared in 13 games, registering five points and 108 penalty minutes.
Coach Facca on McKee - “Mike is a big and strong defenseman. He is really tough and a physical presence out on the ice.”
Sam Mellor - Penticton Vees, BCHL, Forward - Right Shot - 5’10, 185 lbs
Mellor went back to the BCHL after playing a season at Alaska-Anchorage. Prior to his stint with the Sea Wolves he played two seasons for the Trail Smoke Eaters, racking up 130 points in 104 games. Mellor, who will be a sophomore at WMU, now plays for Penticton and is currently 12th in the BCHL in scoring with 31 points off of seven goals and 24 assists in just 28 games.
Coach Facca on Mellor - “Sam has a chance to be an elite scorer. He is very similar to a Shane Berschbach type of player. He can come in here and score points for us.”
Kyle Novak - Green Bay Gamblers, USHL - Forward - Right Shot - 5’10, 178 lbs
Novak is Green Bay’s returning leading scorer from their 2011-12 Clark Cup team. Last season he tallied 59 points on 20 goals and 39 assists in 71 games, including playoffs. Through 23 games this season he has 25 points on 10 goals and 15 assists and tied for sixth in scoring in the USHL. Novak is the fifth Gambler to commit to WMU in recent years, joining current Broncos Matt Stewart, Will Kessel, Robert Francis and current teammate Sheldon Dries.
Coach Facca on Novak - “Kyle is a very skilled forward with good hands and great vision. He is similar to a Greg Squires type of player.”
Michael Rebry - Penticton Vees, USHL - Forward - Left Shot - 6’2, 195 lbs
Rebry is in his first season in the BCHL and has scored 13 goals and eight assists in just 17 games played. Four of his 13 goals have gone for game-winners and two have been game-tying goals. Rebry was also a part of the Canada West Team in the World Junior A Championship. His 13 goals put him 16th in the BCHL and tied for second on the team.
Coach Facca on Rebry - “Michael is an elite skater and a very good two-way centerman. “
Paul Stoykewych - Winnipeg Blues, MJHL - Defenseman - Left Shot - 6’0, 200 lbs
Stoykewych is in his second season with the Winnipeg Blues and is coming off a 24 points season in which he scored six goals and tallied 22 assists. Through 22 games this season he has netted one goal and tallied nine assists. He was given a “B” grade by NHL Central Scouting for the 2013 NHL Draft. Stoykewych’s brother Peter plays for Colorado College.
Coach Facca on Stoykewych - “Paul is a two-way defenseman. He has a very high hockey IQ and a good stick and is also a good skater.”