Aug 6,2014(ISN) – VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds men’s hockey program is proud to introduce the first members of its latest recruiting class. Two goaltenders and two forwards, all British Columbians, will be joining a UBC team that finished with an 11-15-2 regular season record last year.
ERIC WILLIAMS (6’0 goaltender | Langley, BC)
A 6-foot goaltender from Langley, Eric Williams comes to UBC after four years in the Western Hockey League and a short stint in the East Coast Hockey League.
He went 25-32-5 over parts of two seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders before being traded to the Spokane Chiefs. Over the course of two-and-a-half years with Spokane, Williams had a 73-44-9 regular season record. He was 11-11-3 in 28 playoff outings with both the Chiefs and Raiders. At the conclusion of his junior career last season, Williams played a game for the Colorado Eagles of the East Coast Hockey League.
“I’m really excited to be continuing my hockey career as a UBC Thunderbird,” said Williams, who will be an Arts student. “I think UBC will be a great fit for me both on the ice and academically. I’m thrilled to be playing near my hometown in front of friends and family, who have always been my biggest supporters.
“There is a great opportunity for me to succeed and help build on the traditions of UBC hockey. Having the chance to pursue a top level education while playing in a great hockey program is what drew me to UBC making it a perfect fit for. I’m looking forward to the start of the season and a great year at UBC.”
“Eric has been a solid performer in the WHL for the Spokane Chiefs for the past three seasons and especially in the past two where he posted 65 wins,” said Kuntz. “Upon meeting Eric, I was very impressed with him as a person and feel that he is a great fit for our program moving forward. Eric comes from a great program in Spokane and we are looking forward to his contributions both on and off the ice.”
MANRAJ HAYER (5’10 left winger | Vancouver, BC)
Manraj Hayer played four seasons of major junior hockey with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. The Vancouver native amassed 38 goals and 65 assists for 103 points in 194 career regular season games for Everett. He recorded an additional seven points (one goal and six assists) in 14 playoff games.
“UBC has a great academic reputation and allows me an opportunity to play in front of my friends and family,” said Hayer. “My familiarity with coach Kuntz was a big factor in my decision and looks like he has the team going in the right direction. I’m very excited to be joining UBC for the upcoming season and cant wait to get started.”
Hayer will begin his studies in the Faculty of Arts.
“Manraj is a person with tremendous character, and a strong work ethic,” said Kuntz. “His combination of skill and work ethic will compliment our group both on and off the ice. Manraj has been well coached and has very good habits. We welcome Manraj with open arms and look forward to his contributions to the Thunderbird Hockey family.”
ROBERT LINDORES (6’1 right winger | Port Alberni, BC)
Robert Lindores returns to BC after spending the last two seasons playing for the NCAA Division I hockey program at Northern Michigan University.
The right winger from Port Alberni recorded one assist in 16 games played with the Wildcats.
“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to play hockey in my home province again and attend a great school like UBC,” said the 6-foot-1 Lindores. “I want to contribute to the team where I’m asked and make an immediate impact. I’m excited for the season to start and thankful for a fresh start.”
Before heading south, Lindores played just over four seasons in the BCHL, splitting time between the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Surrey Eagles.
He scored six goals and nine assists in 89 regular season appearances with Alberni Valley between 2007 and 2010. With Surrey, Lindores tallied 35 goals and 47 assists in 118 regular season games. In 37 BCHL playoff outings, he had eight goals and 12 assists.
“Robert comes in with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove,” said Kuntz. “He’s hungry. We like hungry players. I have had a good rapport with Robert since his days with the Surrey Eagles in which he had a point-per-game final season and an exceptional playoff.
“Robert is a guy that will come in and work extremely hard. He is a heavy, physical player from Vancouver Island that will grind his opponents down and contribute positively to our group. Robert is a great fit for our program.”
Lindores will be enrolled in the Faculty of Arts in the fall.
KHALEED DEVJI (5’10 goaltender | Vancouver, BC)
Khaleed Devji is transferring to UBC from Salem State University, an NCAA Div. III school in Massachusetts. He went 1-1 during his rookie season with the Vikings in 2012-13.
“UBC was an easy choice for me as Vancouver is my home town and I love the city,” said Devji. “UBC is also renowned for its high academic rank and sense of community, which I highly value. In addition, both my sisters have graduated from UBC and it allows me to continue the family tradition.”
Prior to his university career, Devji went 34-37-2 over two years with the BC Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express. The Vancouver native also appeared in seven playoff games, going 2-5.
“Khaleed comes to UBC as a tremendously popular player with our current group,” said Kuntz. “He has a previous working relationship with Eric Williams and will be a great asset to a strong goaltending group moving forward with our program. Khaleed will push his teammates to get better and work extremely hard to earn his keep. We are excited to welcome Khaleed to our family.”
UBC begins the 2014-15 Canada West regular season on the weekend of Sept. 26-27 when the Thunderbirds host the defending CIS champion Alberta Golden Bears. The campaign will conclude in mid-March in Halifax, the home of the 2015 CIS men’s hockey University Cup.