Acadia bolsters lineup for 2nd half run
The Acadia Axemen have made a big splash in AUS men’s hockey news by adding two key pieces to their lineup for the second half of the Usports hockey season; adding defenseman Tate Olson, and forward Jordy Stallard.
Veteran head coach of the Acadia program, Darren Burns welcomed the new recruits, “We are extremely excited to be able to add these two impact players to our program. With the large turnover in players from last year, this was a huge recruiting year. We left two roster spots open in the 1st half as it was important that we were adding the right people on and off the ice. We knew we were going to experience some growing pains being an extremely young team. We left these spots open to make sure we could add impact to our line up and we are very confident we have done that. We are probably the youngest team in USports, but we feel we have an extremely committed group, and this is going to pay dividends.”
Jordy Stallard is a 5th round NHL draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets in 2016. The 6’2” centreman, from Brandon, Manitoba, will give the Axemen another elite scoring threat. After 2 ½ years with the Calgary Hitmen, Jordy played a year and a half with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. In 2017-18, he racked up 91 points in just 72 games, including 44 goals, good for 14th in league scoring in the competitive Western Hockey League. This season, Stallard has played with the Allen Americans and Indy Fuel of the ECHL, adding 4 points in 19 games.
“Jordy is a proven scorer in the WHL and he has good size. He is a high character player who no doubt can help us offensively. His assets will help us five on five and on the powerplay as well. It’s no secret that we weren’t the most offensive team in the 1st half. We think he can help our program immediately,” said the Axemen Head Coach.
The Axemen also bolstered their blueline by adding 6’2” Saskatoon native Tate Olson to the lineup. Tate is a 7th round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He had 5 successful years of playing in the WHL, 4 with the Prince George Cougars, prior to his overage season as an assistant captain with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, tallying a total of 131 points in 306 career Junior games. This season Tate has split the 1st half of the season with 3 teams in the ECHL, with the Allen Americans, Newfoundland Growlers, & Florida Everblades.
Coach Burns said this of Olson, “Tate is a big sound and intelligent two-way defencemen. He is a very good penalty killer and good first pass d-man who will be a huge addition in our own zone. We also feel he will help on the power play as well. He was a very well-liked teammate, and this is another crucial point.”
Coach Burns concluded saying, “It was important for our program to be patient going into this season, but we have prided ourselves on being a contender in this country every year and there is no question, we found ourselves a bit thin at times with 20 skaters in the first semester. However, it was a good experience to see what everyone could bring to the table. We are looking forward to adding these players to our lineup in the second half. Both will be two key pieces to the immediate and future of the Axemen Hockey Program.”
The Acadia Axemen return to regular season action on Friday, January 4th when they visit the UPEI Panthers, and then travel to Fredericton to face the UNB Reds on Saturday, January 5th.