CALGARY – Popular wisdom dictates that competition brings out the best in teams, and University of Calgary men’s hockey coach Mark Howell made sure his Dinos would get plenty of it with the addition of his latest three recruits.
Netminder Jacob DeSerres, who lifted the Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs just three months ago, joins Dylan Hood (Moose Jaw, WHL) and Thomas Frazee (Kamloops, WHL), two unique forwards who combined for 155 points last year in the WHL, as the newest additions to the Calgary Dinos roster for the 2011-12 season.
The Dinos will be attempting to make a repeat visit next March to the University Cup, the CIS national tournament they hadn’t attended since 2001 until this spring. In order for the Dinos to get back to Fredericton, N.B., however, Howell knows that he must refill the cupboards with the departure of Aaron Richards, Torrie Wheat, and Matt Isbister among others.
“Everything we’ve done this summer has made us a better team,” said Howell, the reigning CIS Coach of the Year. “We are very optimistic about our chances this year – we have great goaltending, great defence and we’ve got some excellent pieces up front.”
JACOB DeSERRES • 6’2” 195 lbs. • Goaltender • Faculty of Arts • Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
One of the best goalies on the CIS recruiting radar for 2011-12, De Serres, a native Calgarian, ultimately decided to bring it home for the next stage of his career after a year well-spent out east.
With a perfect 3-0 record, DeSerres achieved the holy grail of major junior hockey, winning the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs. DeSerres won the QMJHL’s Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy for best goals-against average in 2010-11 as well, sporting sterling stats of a 2.22 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.
The Philadelphia Flyers took a flyer on the 21-year-old goaltender back in 2008, selecting him 84th overall in the third round of the NHL Entry Draft. In his earlier junior years, DeSerres played for the Seattle Thunderbirds from 2007-10 before being traded in early 2010 to the Brandon Wheat Kings where he finished out the year.
DeSerres joins a crowded Calgary crease with the reigning CIS Goaltender of the Year Dustin Butler and the promising Kris Lazaruk currently holding the fort.
Coach Howell: “De Serres had a great year and we’re very excited to have a goaltender of his calibre coming to us. He is going to add great value to the goaltending position for our club, where we already have two of the best players in the country. It will be an excellent challenge for all three of them.”
DYLAN HOOD • 5’11” 195 lbs. • Forward • Open Studies • Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
A five-year WHL veteran, Hood will add offensive skill that had him ranked amongst the top WHL scorers in 2010-11. Hood notched 83 points over 71 games in his final year with the Warriors, ranking 18th in the league for his efforts. His 83 points were a vast improvement over his previous career high of 48, also with Moose Jaw just a year prior.
Hood played for Moose Jaw for the final two-and-a-half years of his WHL career, which were preceded by another two-and-a-half-year stint with the Kelowna Rockets. Hood is from Osoyoos, B.C.
Hood’s propensity for play-making and finding the back of the net is a welcome addition to the Dinos and will no doubt aid the squad offensively after losing the likes of Aaron Richards, Torrie Wheat, and Matt Isbister to graduation.
Coach Howell: “With the guys we lost this year, getting a guy like Dylan with prominent offensive skills is really important. He has the ability to play wing or centre, and his versatility will allow us to look at him in a variety of situations and roles.”
THOMAS FRAZEE • 6’4” 205 lbs. • Forward • Faculty of Arts• Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
A WHL journeyman who improved each year along the way, Thomas Frazee will add an intriguing mix of size and playmaking ability to Calgary’s offensive push.
At 6-foot-4, Frazee is a hulking centre who spent time with the Portland Winter Hawks, the Medicine Hat Tigers, the Moose Jaw Warriors, the Regina Pats, and most recently the Kamloops Blazers. In 2010-11, Frazee split time with the Pats and the Blazers, notching 31 goals and 41 assists in 70 combined games with the two clubs. Frazee impressed with the Warriors two years ago as well, scoring 55 points in 70 games.
The North Vancouver native spent his summer with the NHL’s Washington Capitals at their development camp.
Coach Howell: “He’s a really big-bodied forward with lots of skill, who was a 70+ point guy this past year. Any time you can add size and skill like that up front, it makes your team better.”