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Alumni Spotlight: Western Collegiate Hockey Association

 

During the 2019-20 campaign, twelve alumni from the Central Canada Hockey League were part of the NCAA Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

While alumni such as Pierre-Luc Veillette, Will Cullen, Tim Theocharidis, and Connor Merkley have more time to progress their games at the college level, graduating Senior Jason Tackett put a staple into his college career and will now move on to the next chapter of his life, whatever that may be. 

Overall, ten out of twelve CCHL programs had alumni suiting up in the WCHA during the 2019-20 season.

Heading into 2020-21, Carleton Place Canadians defenseman Brett Thorne will be the newest addition to the WCHA as he is set to join Michigan Tech University.

 

PIERRE-LUC VEILLETTE | LAKE SUPERIOR UNIVERSITY

PHOTO courtesy Lakers Athletics

The former Ottawa Jr Senators sniper more than tripled his offensive output as a Sophomore from his previous Freshman season, totalling 26 points (12G, 14A) in 41 games. The Drummondville, QC native brought home his first WCHA Player of the Week honour in January, helping the Lakers to a pair of victories over the University of Alaska-Anchorage during that span. Majoring in Psychology, Veillette’s progression on the ice will definitely be worth keeping an eye on over his final two seasons of NCAA eligibility.  

 

 

 

WILL CULLEN | BOWLING GREEN UNIVERSITY

PHOTO courtesy BGSU Marketing & Communications

The Pelham Manor, NY native, who spent time with both the Carleton Place Canadians and Nepean Raiders during his CCHL tenure saw steady progression as a Sophomore. Suiting up in 36 of a possible 37 games, Cullen recorded a career-high 7 goals and 16 points for the Falcons, placing him second on the team among defensemen. With two more seasons to come, the offensive blue-liner will be leaned on more heavily, especially after the graduation of top-scoring defenseman Alec Ralhuaser.

 

 

 

JASON TACKETT | FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY

The West Chester, OH native capped off a solid collegiate career by posting a career-best 16 points (4G, 12A) in 29 games of action. Tackett, who spent time as a member of the Pembroke Lumber Kings and Kemptville 73’s while in the CCHL, totaled 45 points (17G, 28A) in 114 career games with Bulldogs. With his college hockey now complete, it is expected that Tackett will begin his professional career in 2020-21.

 

CONNOR MERKLEY | UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE

PHOTO courtesy UAH Chargers Athletics

Merkley has seen a quiet offensive progression over his first three seasons with the Mustangs after posting a career-best 8 points (3G, 5A) over the course of 29 games in 2019-20. The Portland, ON native brought his career totals to 21 points (8G, 13A) in 101 games of action. Heading into his Senior campaign, the two-way forward is expected to be given a bigger role, which may result in a spike in his offensive numbers. Off the ice, the Carleton Place Canadians alum was named to the WCHA All-Academic Team.

 

 

 

TIM THEOCHARIDIS | BOWLING GREEN UNIVERSITY

PHOTO courtesy BGSU Marketing & Communications

The Scarborough, ON native and Carleton Place Canadians alumni continued his strong play as a Sophomore, totaling a career-best 13 points (3G, 10A) in 38 games with the Falcons. He was named WCHA Defenseman of the Week on March 9/20. The two-way defenseman brought his career totals to 24 points (7G, 17A) in 72 collegiate games. With two more seasons on the horizon, the sky is the limit for the former CCHL Defenseman of the Year as he helps Bowling Green chase a Conference title. Off the ice, Theocharidis was named to the WCHA All-Academic Team.

 

 

PLAYER STATS

YEAR NAME SCHOOL POS GP G A P CCHL TEAM(S)
SO PIERRE-LUC VEILLETTE LAKE SUPERIOR F 41 12 14 26 OTTAWA
SO WILL CULLEN BOWLING GREEN D 37 7 9 16 NEPEAN/CARLETON PLACE
SR JASON TACKETT FERRIS STATE F 29 4 12 16 PEMBROKE/KEMPTVILLE
SO TIM THEOCHARIDIS BOWLING GREEN D 38 3 10 13 CARLETON PLACE
JR CONNOR MERKLEY ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE F 29 3 5 8 CARLETON PLACE
SR SEAN RAPPLEYEA ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE D 9 1 1 2 OTTAWA
FR PEYTON FRANCIS ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE F 29 0 2 2 CARLETON PLACE
SO BAILEY NEWTON ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE D 33 0 2 2 SMITHS FALLS
SR IAN JOHNSTON LAKE SUPERIOR F 9 0 1 1 KANATA/BROCKVILLE
SO OWEN GUY LAKE SUPERIOR F 7 0 1 1 KEMPTVILE/OTTAWA

 

YEAR NAME SCHOOL GP W GAA SV% SO CCHL TEAM(S)
JR HENRY JOHNSON BEMIDJI STATE 4 1 2.24 .909 0 BROCKVILLE
FR MICHAEL CARR BEMIDJI STATE 0 0 0.00 .000 0 CORNWALL