The Acadia University hockey Axemen continue to graduate highly skilled players that are going on to play in elite leagues as high as the AHL.
This year’s graduates may have raised the bar to a whole new level for the Axemen hockey program with two players signing AHL contracts, one with the ECHL, and 3 more signing contracts to play overseas in elite leagues.
Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns had this to say about the success of the graduating Axemen,“It is great to see so many of our players pursuing pro hockey once they have finished their degree. This year is a great indication of what opportunities are out there for players who work hard. There’s no question we want to create an environment where players can continue to grow their game once done their major junior careers. We are very fortunate that our department and institution has created an environment with an arena which is second to none in the country; a brand new professional dressing room with a state of the art weight room right beside it. It’s an exceptional culture for hockey. As we tell every recruit, Hockey Matters at Acadia and we are very proud of that. ”
Let’s run down the signings from the past year’s graduates:
Boston Leier– Belleville Senators – AHL
Bossy has led the Axemen with heart and skill for the past 4 years, after the University Cup last season, he signed an AHL tryout contract with the Belleville Senators and recorded 6 points in 8 games before returning to Acadia to graduate with his degree. It wasn’t long after that the NHL’s Ottawa Senators AHL affiliate team came calling, and Leier signed on with Belleville. At the Senators development camp earlier this summer, he led his squad to tournament victory, and will attend the main camp for the Ottawa Senators heading into the fall. The WHL alumnus, played his junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers & Regina Pats before putting up 114 points in 111 regular season games with Acadia. Boston will look to be a big part of the success of the Belleville team this season. Read more ›
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with forward Sam Fioretti for the 2018-19 season. The Calgary, Alberta native will begin his professional career with the Stingrays after 4 years at Acadia University and four seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the Western Hockey League.
“We talked to Sam through the spring. He was a really good player for Acadia, which is a very well-coached program,” said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Ryan Warsofsky. “He had a really good regular season and was one of their leaders. We’ve followed him the last couple of years and he has some energy, brings grit and plays on the edge. We’re really happy to bring him in next season.”
“Being a guy that played my major junior hockey in Moose Jaw and living in Canada I like the idea of going down and experiencing time in the states while playing hockey,” said Fioretti. “Talking to Coach Warsofsky, we developed a little bit of a relationship and through word of mouth I found out that people who have played in South Carolina love it down there. It just seemed like a great opportunity and a great spot to continue my career.” Read more ›
WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Graduating hockey Axeman Matt Pufahl will extend his hockey career with the Colorado Eagles this coming season. The Eagles will take over as the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche affiliate team. The AHL Board of Governors approved league expansion in July of 2017, with the Eagles set to come on board this season. The Eagles are located in Loveland, CO — about 100km north of Denver.
“I was expecting to go over to Europe, to be honest. I was looking over there with my new agent, when David Oliver (Director of Player Development, Colorado Avalanche) out of Colorado called me. I had been in contact with him before when I was there out of Junior Hockey. He asked me what my plans were and I indicated I had shifted my focus to Europe and hadn’t heard anything from North America,” noted Pufahl. Read more ›
Leier’s tryout proves successful with new contract
Belleville, Ont. – The Belleville Senators have signed former Acadia Axemen forward Boston Leier to an American Hockey League contract for the 2018-19 season.
Leier was signed out of Acadia University on March 22 to an amateur tryout agreement after a four-year U SPORTS career in the AUS. In eight games with Belleville, his first foray into professional hockey, he scored four goals and added two assists.
Leier returned to Acadia to complete his courses and write several exams.
“I’m extremely excited to sign my first professional contract with Belleville,” Leier said. “It has been a goal of mine to do this since I entered junior hockey so I’m obviously very grateful for the opportunity. Every member of management, coaching staff and players made my short time there this season a great experience.
“I am excited to start a new chapter with Belleville and could not have done this without my many people, most importantly my family. I am thankful for the opportunities I had at Acadia University and without our athletic department, coaches, and past and current teammates I would not be where I am today and am very excited to get the season going in the fall.” Read more ›
Leier 13th on Axemen all-time career goal list with 54
WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Senior Axemen forward Boston Leier will be continuing his hockey career after four years with the Acadia Axemen hockey team.
Leier, from Saskatoon, Sask., will join the Ottawa Senators farm team the Belleville Senators of the AHL this week.
“We are very excited for Boston and his opportunity with the Senators. He has worked extremely hard and has committed himself here for four seasons. His work ethic has been impeccable every practice and every game. It has been a pleasure to watch him develop and lead the Axemen hockey program. We look forward to watching his game continue to grow at the pro level,” said Acadia head coach Darren Burns
Leier, who played five seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers and a year with the Regina Pats in the junior ranks, joined the Axemen in 2014. Over his four-year career at Acadia, Leier played 111 regular season games and accumulated 54 goals and 60 assists. His best season to date was this past season where he posted 39 points – 15 goals and 24 assists and was named as a second team AUS All-Star.
An assistant captain with the Axemen for the last three seasons, Leier led the Axemen with six goals and five assists during this year’s AUS playoffs. While with the Axemen, Leier made three visits to the U SPORTS University Cup including the Axemen’s bronze medal win in 2017,
“I’m really excited. It’s a great opportunity. I was hoping there was some interest and I got a call from Darren and Kevin Dickie and it just took off from there. I had to figure out some stuff with school to make sure it was feasible and I would be able to graduate on time. That’s one of the great things about Acadia is the support from the athletics and academic departments to help you pursue your goals,” noted Leier. Read more ›
Quarter-final 3: Golden Bears hold on to beat Acadia
March 16, 2018
FREDERICTON (U SPORTS) – Stephane Legault had a five-point afternoon and Riley Kieser had two goals and two assists as the Alberta Golden Bears beat the Acadia Axemen 8-6 in the third quarter-final game of the 2018 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup.
The 2018 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University kicks off on Thursday at the Aitken University Centre in Fredericton and concludes next Sunday with the gold-medal final at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT. The semifinals and final will be broadcast live on Sportsnet 360 and SN Now. All remaining games will be livestreamed at USPORTS.LIVE.
A championship schedule and team-by-team previews are available below.