CINCINNATI, OH – It’s no secret that offense was hard to come by for the Cincinnati Cyclones during the 2016-17 campaign. When the season concluded, the Cyclones only mustered 200 goals for in 72 games which was good for 23rd in the ECHL for that category where only Elmira, Indy, Tulsa, and Wichita scored fewer goals.
The offensive issue was addressed this afternoon with the Cyclones latest signing which came in the form of forward, Winston Day Chief. Yes, that’s really his last name. Day Chief. I’m going to have as much fun as humanly possible this year with that incredible name. Day Chief comes to Cincinnati after spending the 2016-2017 in Hungary with MAC Budapest in the Erste Liga where his season was cut short due to injury as he only appeared in 13 games. However, all those his time on the ice was short, his presence was made known as he put up over a point-per-game in Budapest by tallying 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) during that 13-game span.
Prior to heading across the pond, he was Rapid City Rush royalty as he spent each of his first four seasons as a professional with both the old Central Hockey League and ECHL renditions of the Rush from 2012-2016. He served as captain of the Rush during the 2015-16 season, and was an alternate captain the season prior alongside former Cyclones defenseman, Riley Weselowski. In 202 games combined games between the CHL and ECHL in a Rapid City uniform, Day Chief has accounted for 149 points (63 goals, 86 assists).
Granted, there is an outlier in those numbers as the one bleak spot on his offensive resume came during his most recent year in North America. He only put up 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists) in 71 games, however, albeit on an abysmal team that missed the playoffs and despite the low output, was still their leading scorer. Every other season, Day Chief has put up tremendous numbers.
Prior to turning pro at the tail-end of the 2011-12 campaign, he spent his Sophmore, Junior, and Senior years of college at the University of Lethbridge in the CIS. During his three years in Lethbridge, he skated in 68 collegiate contests and scored 58 points, good for 23 goals and 35 assists. His Freshman year was spent at the University of Alaska-Anchorage in the NCAA where totaled ten points (four goals, six assists) in 27 games.
His junior hockey years were spent in the British Columbia Hockey League where he played two seasons with the Cowichan Valley Capitals from 2005-2007. In 119 junior appearances, he racked up 117 points (51 goals, 66 assists).
Despite being from Alberta, Canada, if you couldn’t tell obviously from his name, Day Chief is of Native American heritage. Not only does he bring his on-ice skill to the Cincinnati line-up, but he also brings leadership and is someone that is going to make a huge impact on this team and this city. I would put money right now on the notion that he’ll be one of the three men wearing letters on their shoulders for the Cyclones this fall. Here’s a clip from his time in Rapid City that describes how much he meant to the Rush organization as well as the impact he had on the city and Native American community.