BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are entering their fifth year of existence in 2017-18. When they joined the league, they were the only Canadian team in the ECHL. They are currently affiliated with the Montreal Canadiens (NHL) and Laval Rocket (AHL).
Head Coach: Colin Chaulk
– Enters his third year as head coach with a 69-68-19 overall record.
Captain: Brandon Marino
– Third season as captain.
– 40-24-8 regular season record and finished third in the North (ninth overall in ECHL).
– They lost in the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs to the Manchester Monarchs.
Last year was a year of new heights. At a team level, they had their most wins in a single season, made it to the ECHL playoffs for the first time and went to the second round. At a player level, there were many individual records for the Beast. This includes, but is not limited to: David Pacan with 41 goals in a single season; David Vallorani had 83 points in a single season. At a fan level, this was the most attended season of hockey for any Brampton team in history, with almost 112,000 people going through the turnstiles for an average of just over 3,100 fans per game.
- Goal scoring and Defense: With top guns Pacan and Vallorani going to Europe, the Beast will look to use their remaining forwards to keep the scoring going. Part of the off-season was used to find a more solid group of defensemen to help offset the loss of the scoring touch.
- McNiven is a Beast: The Montreal Canadiens have sent Michael McNiven to Brampton to at least start the season. McNiven is a local 20 year-old boy from Georgetown who finished last season as Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and Ontario Hockey League (OHL) goaltender of the year.
- Beast to Push in the Playoffs: The entire goal of playing in the ECHL is to win the Kelly Cup. Coach Chaulk is trying to build a team that is a little different than last year with more focus on defense and less on scoring. With this approach, he is aiming to make it past the second round this season.
- Season Number 5: This is the fifth season for the Beast and fourth in the ECHL. This year they are looking to improve on their record 88 points in the season.
- Bums in the Seats: Last year the Beast passed a Brampton record to welcome almost 112,000 people to their 36 regular season home games. With the excitement around last season’s playoff push and the new team set to debut, the expectation is to break that record again this year.
- Marino is back to lead the team with his assistant captains, Brandon MacLean and Jordan Henry
- Willie Corrin (D) has returned to Brampton and will look to repeat his performance that earned him the Beast rookie of the year award.
- NCAA National Champion and Oakville native Mark Bennett (F) joins the Beast this year after playing two seasons with the Elmira Jackals.
Blocked and Reported
- Tim Billingsley (D) and Mathieu Gagnon (D) both left for the Nottingham Panthers (EIHL)
- Chris Auger (F) went to the Manchester Storm (EIHL)
- Pacan (F) is playing in Slovakia with HC Kosice.
- Luke Pither (F) and Vallorani (F) both went to Sweden to play with Almtuna IS
Brampton is going to bust out the Beast and take even more wins from the East.
What Say You?
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