Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – The MacEwan Griffins' incoming men's hockey 2019-20 recruiting class is turning into a veritable who's who of top-30 scorers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
They now have five of them.
Along with previously announced forward recruits Kole Gable (T12th) and Jordan Taupert (T15th), head coach Michael Ringrose announced Tuesday that the Calgary Mustangs' top scorers – Joseph Karpyshyn (18th) and Chase Miller (T21st) – as well Grande Prairie Storm forward Zach Webb (T27th) will also be joining the Griffins next season.
And on the other side of the puck, the Griffins are bolstering their goaltending ranks with the addition of Canmore Eagles goaltender Thomas Davis.
"As a staff, we knew that we needed to replace some of the scoring depth that moved on this year, and we feel like we've done a good job finding players that can step in and contribute right away," said Ringrose. "Now it'll be up to them to make sure they have a good summer and come to camp ready to go."
Karpyshyn led the Mustangs in scoring last season with 27 goals and 63 points in 60 games. The Calgary native also had 27 goals for the Mustangs in 2017-18. All total, he notched 137 points in 182 AJHL games, also playing for Drumheller, Okotoks and Olds earlier in his junior career.
"Joe has great offensive instincts," said Ringrose. "He puts himself in good spots and knows how to finish. He's posted back-to-back 27 goal seasons, which is not an easy thing to do at any level, and plays with pace and an edge. We're excited to add him to the mix."
His Mustangs teammate Miller also had a terrific offensive season in Calgary, posting 23 goals and 61 points in 60 games. That follows a 20-goal season in 2017-18 and brings his AJHL career totals to 116 points in 128 games.
"Chase is another guy that plays with pace and his ability to make plays at high speed really sets him apart," said Ringrose. "He can finish and distribute. We're getting two guys in Chase and Joseph that have played together, it's nice to bonus to have that familiarity."
Chase Miller had 61 points in 60 games last season for the Calgary Mustangs (Chad Goddard photo/Calgary Mustangs).
Webb also landed in the top-30 in the AJHL scoring race after recording 19 goals and 57 points in 53 games. He added a goal and two assists in four playoff games. Like his other future Griffins teammates, Webb posted prolific numbers (153 points in 183 games) over an AJHL career that also included stops in Drayton Valley, Lloydminster and with the Calgary Canucks.
"Zach is the type of player that makes players around him better," explained Ringrose of the St. Albert native. "He hounds the puck, and has the vision to make plays at high speed. We're extremely excited to be adding a player of Zach's ability to the program."
St. Albert product Zach Webb had 57 points in 53 games for the Grande Prairie Storm last season (Tammie Diesel photo/Grande Prairie Storm).
Davis, another St. Albert product, is returning to the Edmonton area after three seasons in Canmore, logging 104 AJHL starts. Perhaps his finest work came in the 2018-19 playoffs when he was a difference-maker for the sixth-seeded Eagles, who upset No. 3 Drumheller in the opening round.
Although they bowed out to eventual national champion Brooks in five games in Round 2, Davis finished with a respectable 3.19 goals against average and .918 save percentage in 10 playoff games.
"A goaltender I've known and watched for a long time, Thomas has continued to get better and better with each year," said Ringrose. "He plays his best hockey when it matters the most, and was a big reason why Canmore was able to upset Drumheller in the playoffs this past season."
St. Albert product Thomas Davis started 104 games for the Canmore Eagles over his AJHL career, saving his best work for last with a huge showing in the 2019 AJHL playoffs (Pam Doyle photo/Canmore Eagles).
With the latest four additions to a strong 2019-20 recruiting class, the Griffins now have nine announced incoming rookies.
"We're not done adding yet," said Ringrose. "There has been considerable interest since we've announced that the program will be transitioning to U SPORTS and we're hoping to add a few more guys that can have an immediate impact."