INDEPENDENCE, MO – The Kansas City Mavericks looked to bolster their blue line for the upcoming season with a pair of signings announced on Wednesday. The team has signed defenseman Alex Brooks, who the Mavericks acquired at the trade deadline last season, and newcomer Nate Widman from St. Cloud State.
Brooks, 26, began the 2016-17 season with the Fayetteville FireAntz before earning the call-up to the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays. In 33 games with the Stingrays, Brooks posted one goal and eleven assists. Once he was traded to the Mavericks, Brooks appeared in 14 games and registered two goals and six assists.
“Rejoining Kansas City was an easy decision,” Brooks said. “After I was traded here at the deadline it didn’t take long to notice I was playing in a top-notch organization. I’m excited to come back and help make a long playoff push.”
In watching Brooks play towards the end of the season, he displayed solid two-way play with an active stick and was fundamentally sound. He really helped solidify the Mavericks blue line towards the end of the season as players like Jesse Graham were being moved up to Bridgeport. This is a solid signing for the Mavs; anytime you get a guy back that played well for you down the stretch and understands your system of play it is a definite bonus for John-Scott Dickson’s squad. Brooks has the potential to quarterback the defense heading into this season.
“Alex (Brooks) is a mobile defenseman with offensive upside to his game and composure with the puck,” said Mavericks head coach John-Scott Dickson. “We have high expectations for Alex this season and he is excited for the challenge.”
Nate Widman finished his college career with St. Cloud State in 2016-17 before joining the Rapid City Rush for four games towards the end of the season. While at St. Cloud State, Widman had a stellar junior season when he registered a +20 to go along with 11 points (one goal, ten assists) in 41 games. He also spent time in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be starting my professional career with the Mavericks,” Widman said. “I am excited to play for Coach Dickson and I’m looking forward to a great year. I can’t wait to get the season going.”
The aforementioned Coach Dickson added, “Nate (Widman) is a good first-pass, defensive-minded defenseman. He’s a selfless player, a top shot-blocker and will join the rush, but his defensive responsibility sticks out. I’m very excited to add the character Nate will bring to our team.”
Widman will provide depth on the Mavericks blue line and if he can duplicate the play of his junior season, should prove to be a valuable addition for the Mavs.
Stay tuned to The Sin Bin as the Kansas City Mavericks continue to introduce their 2017-18 roster in the coming weeks. And for the latest list of player signings across the ECHL, visit our 2017 ECHL Transactions page!