The Brampton Beast announced that defenseman Francis Meilleur has been signed for the 2015-2016 season.
Meilleur joins the Beast after spending his past two years in the Ligue Magnus in France, where he tallied 32 points (6 goals, 26 assists) in 52 games between the Dolphins Epinal and LHC Lions, in addition to seven points in 11 playoff matches.
“I’ve been away for two years in Europe, so I’m pretty excited to come back and play in Canada,” said Meilleur of his time overseas. “I enjoyed my experience in France but I missed the North American style of hockey. I wanted to come back, play closer to home, and be a part of the hockey atmosphere here in Brampton. People take the game way more seriously here and I can’t wait to get started.”
Prior to signing his first European contract, Meilleur suited up for 124 ECHL games with the Greenville Road Warriors, Bakersfield Condors and Las Vegas Wranglers. The Longueuil, Quebec native became instantly known for his ability to contribute at both ends of the ice, a trait that has drawn the attention of coaches since his days of playing junior in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“Francis is a puck-moving defenseman with over 100 games of ECHL experience,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “He has a well-rounded skill set on the ice and I expect him to be able to contribute in both the offensive and defensive zones.”
During his four-year junior career in the QMJHL, Meilleur logged 139 points and 205 penalty minutes in 264 games, in addition to a +76 rating. He was named alternate captain of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in his third season with the team before being traded to the Montreal Juniors for his final year.