While we sit here patiently waiting for hockey to return, the Wildcats have been busy recruiting with the addition of towering defensemen, Cale DuBrul.
DuBrul, standing at 6’5”, 200 pounds, comes from South Burlington, Vermont. The big fella spent last season playing for the Maine Nordiques (NAHL) under coach Nolan Howe, the grandson of former Detroit Red Wings legend, Gordie Howe. The Nordiques drafted DuBrul in the 4th round (79th overall) of the 2019 NAHL draft.
“I am excited for the opportunity to attend the University of Arizona for the next 4 years and to play for coach Berman,“ said Cale DuBrul. ”The hockey program, level of education, and beautiful weather are all second to none. I am extremely excited to join the program and make a run at a National Championship.”
DuBrul marks the 4th player in the most recent recruiting class to stand 6’2” or taller. His 6’5” reach should make him an immediate impact on an already strong penalty killing unit. Beyond his size and defensive prowess, it is his overall game that impresses coach Berman the most.
“Cale adds another really important piece to our backend,” said coach Berman. “We are really happy and excited about what we already have back there, so we weren’t necessarily looking to add any defensemen. However, when a kid with this kind of size, talent, and experience comes along you don’t hesitate to make your program better.”
“Just being big doesn’t make you a good hockey player. What makes Cale so effective is that he really understands his game. His gap control and reach make him especially effective in the neutral zone and down low. I think he has a chance to be one of the top “shut down” defensemen in the ACHA. But then you dive deeper into his game and you see a kid with a heavy shot and really good feet and hips for his size. And he isn’t just a big guy looking to get the puck off his stick, he has the hockey sense and vision to make plays - which is really important in our quick transition game. He brings something we didn’t necessarily have, and adds to what we can eventually become.”
When looking at the talent and depth of the Wildcats defensemen, it is easy to forget just how young the group really is.
The Wildcats will have their returning top-pair of Matthew Hohl and Ben Jones - now known as the “older” veterans of the group – who are still only juniors. Cameron Teamor is returning as a sophomore after being recognized on the ACHA All-Rookie team. Not to mention Chris Hedgecoke, who was a walk-on player that quickly worked his way into the lineup as an elite defender; even being used as a matchup defensemen late in his Freshman year.
Combine all of that with the already impressive incoming class of: Ryan Fischer (BCHL – Victoria Cougars), John Sively (NCAA DIII – Buffallo State), Kurt Reger (USPHL-PR Utica Jr. Comets), and Riley McCaulley (Brewster Academy).
It is easy to see why the Wildcats have such high expectations!
The Wildcat head in to the second semester still hoping to hit the ice amidst the many complications COVID-19 has presented. The team continues to train on their own with hopes of playing games around mid-February or March.
Regardless of when it begins, it certainly appears that Tucson has a very strong college hockey team for many years to come!
|South Hampton School