Jefferson Hagen / MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – Michael Ringrose's 2018 recruiting class continues to grow in both quantity and quality.
The latest duo: a defenceman with 124 Western Hockey League games under his belt and a forward who was a top-10 scorer in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League last season.
Ringrose announced on Wednesday that Cam Reagan of Sherwood Park and Kaelan Holt of Estevan, Sask. will be joining the MacEwan Griffins men's hockey team for the 2018-19 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference campaign.
That brings his solid recruiting class to eight, providing ample reinforcements for a team that has won the last two ACAC Championships.
"We're adding both of these guys to an exceptional recruiting class," said the Griffins head coach. "We have a number of athletes coming in that are going to push to play in key situations immediately. I'm really excited to get going in the fall and see how things shake out."
Reagan played three seasons for the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL (2013-16) before being traded to the Prince Albert Raiders at the beginning of the 2016-17 season. He finished that campaign in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, netting 30 points in 31 games for the Sherwood Park Crusaders.
Last season, the defenceman played for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL, amassing 10 points and 41 penalty minutes in 50 games.
"He brings a wealth of experience in a number of different leagues," said Ringrose. "I've gotten to know him over the years. He's a very mature young man who will be able to step in and provide offence from the back end. But at the same time, he has those same traits that I'm always looking for: plays a 200-foot game, he's responsible defensively and has the offensive flair that can help us on the scoreboard."
Reagan's father Leo is a part of the Edmonton high-performance coaching fraternity (helming the Sherwood Park Midget AAA Kings squad), so Ringrose has long had familiarity with the family and has followed Reagan throughout his junior career.
"I've always kept tabs on him, but there's always been a relationship there," said the Griffins bench boss. "We had a brief conversation and one thing led to another. It happened pretty quickly. He had some different offers from some U SPORTS schools out east, but decided to stay closer to home and be part of what we're building at MacEwan."
Holt spent the past three seasons with his hometown Estevan Bruins in the SJHL, compiling 65 goals and 152 points in 162 regular season contests. The 2017-18 campaign was the centre/right winger's best when he scored 31 goals and 69 points in 57 games – sixth-best in the SJHL. He then proceeded to lead the SJHL playoffs in scoring with 22 points in 16 post-season games as the Bruins came within a game of winning the league title.
"He's been over a point a game in the SJHL for a couple of years now and he's come from a really good organization in Estevan that's consistently pushing to win a championship at that level," said Ringrose. "In talking to their coach (Chris Lewgood), Kaelan certainly has the ability to make players around him better and was a driving force behind their success over the last couple of years."
Holt's family has moved to Edmonton, so MacEwan University presents a perfect opportunity for him to continue his career with his biggest supporters by his side.
"We're excited," said Ringrose. "We think he's going to be able to come in and add offence. He will be another really important piece for us – another member of a team that has had post-season success and pushed for championships. That kind of experience is hard to come by and we're fortunate to be able to get him."
Reagan and Holt join a solid recruiting class that also includes Camrose Kodiaks wingers Ryan Hartman and Nic Correale, Drumheller Dragons defenceman Andrew Kartusch, Battlefords and former Edmonton Oil Kings forward/defenceman Garan Magnes, Spruce Grove Saints forward Austin Parmiter and former NAIT Ooks defenceman Brett Magee.