Monday, May 31, 2010

Leffler, Esposito commit to Cougars

Link from the U of R Cougars website.

Leffler, Esposito commit to Cougars

5/31/2010 11:23:55 AM
University of Regina men’s hockey head coach Blaine Sautner announced Monday that forwards Brett Leffler and Cody Esposito have both committed to the Cougars.

Leffler comes to the U of R after five full seasons with the Regina Pats. Listed at 6’2” and 195 lbs., his best season came during the 2008-09 campaign when he scored 33 goals and added 24 assists for 57 points in 64 regular season games. During his WHL career, Leffler accumulated 75 goals, 76 assists, and 151 points in 309 games.

“Brett is a high-end recruit for us,” Sautner said. “We think he’s a pretty complete package, as he’ll bring size, skill, and grit to our program. It’s nice to keep the local guys around and he’s the type of player that will be able to play in a lot of different situations for us.”

Leffler was selected by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He will become the first drafted player to suit up for the Cougars since forward Jeff Lucky, who played for the U of R during the 2004-05 season after being selected by the Capitals in 2001.

Esposito scored 23 goals and had 18 assists for 41 points in 43 games last year with Dauphin. The Kings won both the MJHL championship and the Anavet Cup and finished as the runners-up at the 2010 Royal Bank Cup.

“Cody is a big guy who skates exceptionally well,” Sautner said. “He’s good on the forecheck, plays in the tough areas, and goes to the net hard. He’s a great team guy and he’ll be able to contribute in many roles for us.”

Esposito, who checks in at 6’3” and 204 lbs., played in 167 career WHL games with Red Deer and Spokane before finishing off his junior career in Dauphin.

Leffler and Esposito are the eighth and ninth members of Sautner’s 2010 recruiting class.

2010-11 University of Regina Men’s Hockey Recruiting Class
F Terrance Delaronde (6’2”, 205 lbs.) - Winnipeg, Man. – University of Manitoba
F Cody Esposito (6’3”, 204 lbs.) – Airdrie, Alta. – Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
F Cody Gross (6’0”, 187 lbs.) – Winnipeg, Man. – Melville Millionaires (SJHL)
F Lucas Isley (5’10”, 175 lbs.) – Bonnyville, Alta. – Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL)
F Brett Leffler (6’2”, 195 lbs.) – Wynyard, Sask. – Regina Pats (WHL)
F Tyler Penny (5’10”, 170 lbs.) – Weyburn, Sask. – Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL)
D Jordan Reeve (6’0”, 190 lbs.) – Regina, Sask. – Melville Millionaires (SJHL)
F Matt Strueby (6’2”, 195 lbs.) – Regina, Sask. – Regina Pats (WHL)
G A.J. Whiffen (5’11”, 195 lbs.) – Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L. – Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL)

Take note of the recruiting class: 4 former Pats heading to the Cougars Leffler, Strueby, Delaronde and Gross. I think that these four will help the Cougars turn the corner and maybe make some noise. Then again CIS hockey is tough to tell sometimes. They join former Pats Matt Sawa, Ryan Bender, Justin Scott and Jared Jagow on the roster.