The Brampton Beast are pleased to announce the signing of CHL scoring champion Yannick Riendeau and American left-winger and 2014-15 NCAA Div. III’s top goal scorer Nick Zappia.
Riendeau had a stellar junior career averaging almost a point per game in his years in the QMJHL. His most outstanding year was in 2009, where the Quebec native led the Canadian Hockey League in points (178 pts in 83 games). That year Riendeau outscored John Tavares of the New York Islanders. The forward sensation had 126 points (64 g 58 a) in 64 games during the regular season was the playoff MVP with 52 points (29 g 23 a) in 19 games tying Mario Lemieux for the second most goals in Canadian Hockey League playoff history.
“Yannick will be one of the most skilled players the Brampton Beast fans will have ever seen,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “He’s a proven offensive producer who will provide depth to our attack.”
Riendeau had his first professional start with the Providence Bruins of the AHL and signed a three-year contract. From 2009-2012, the 5’10 185 lbs winger suffered from numerous injuries while with the Bruins and spent some time with the Reading Royals of the ECHL where he met recent Beast signee and childhood teammate Yannick Tifu. After his season with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL in 2012-13, Riendeau headed to France where he played a full season finishing with 33 points in 25 games. Riendeau returns to the ECHL where had a 137 total career points in 145 games.
“I’m excited to join the Brampton Beast organization and I have heard nothing but good things,” said the Beast forward. “I’m a natural offensive player with good stick handling and can be a great contributor. I’m good offensively but I know that to win a championship you have to also be defensive.”
Nick Zappia, the 25-year-old Manlius, New York native completed his four-year college career at SUNY Cortland in 2014-15 as a point-per-game player, and recorded 109 points (58G, 51A) in 98 games played, the sixth-highest point total in school history.
His 2014-15 campaign was certainly one to remember. His 24 goals were tied for the most in all of Div. III hockey and he led the league in points-per-game average with 1.88 and finished the year with 47 points in 25 games and is excited to join his join his new team for his first full season in the pros.
Zappia certainly earned his fair share of accolades during his final season in the NCAA. He was named to the All-America East second team and was a first-team All-SUNYAC. He recorded a point in each of his first 24 games to start the 2014-15 season.
Following the completion of his final college season, Zappia got his first taste of the pros with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors and suited up for 20 contests and notched four goals and five assists. He scored his first professional goal in his first game with the Condors on February 25, 2015 against the Idaho Steelheads and followed it up with his second goal in as many games on February 27.
He was able to make a quick impression on his teammates and coaching staff during his short tenure in Bakersfield and Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk is confident he can do the same in Brampton.
“Nick is a dynamic scorer who led the nation in scoring during his senior year of college hockey,” he said. “His hockey sense and offensive ability will give us some much needed depth.”
The Brampton Beast now have 16 players announced to their training camp roster.