The Victoria Cougars have signed Brandon Tutte, Kurtis Gamble, and James Scott for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
All three players played this past season with the South Island Royals of the BC Major Midget League.
“We really pride ourselves on trying to find the right type of player that will excel in our program,” Cougars head coach Mark Van Helvoirt said. “When you can find those types of players and personalities in your own backyard it is a huge bonus.”
However, Tutte, Gamble, and Scott may make the jump from Major Midget to Junior A; bypassing Junior B altogether.
“We are hopeful that all three of these players will have the opportunity to play Junior A this season with the respective teams they are trying out for. But if they do not play Junior A, they have committed to helping us in our pursuit of a Cyclone Taylor Cup championship,” Van Helvoirt said.
Victoria will host the 2016 Cyclone Taylor Cup which will run from April 7-10 at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.
Tutte, 18, is offensive dynamo who led the Royals in scoring with 13 goals and 36 assists for 49 points in 39 games. Talent aside, the six-foot-one, 180-pound forward is also a natural play maker who seems to end up on the scoresheet every night.
“We feel Brandon can come in and play with some of our other offensive players and really produce. He will also expect that he will an effective component to our power play,” Van Helvoirt said.
Gamble, 18, is a rough and tumble defenseman who amassed a team high 155 penalty minutes for the Royals last year. Standing five-foot-eleven and weighing in at 175-pounds, Gamble is a solid two-way defenseman who is ultra-competitive and will do whatever it is required for his team to succeed.
“We have had our eye on Kurtis for a number of years. He is a great addition to our club, he brings toughness, leadership, and the ability to shut down opponents top players” Van Helvoirt said.
Scott, 17, got his first taste of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League as a call up last season and became an instant fan favourite. The five-foot-eleven, 160-pound forward scored three goals for the Royals in 13 games.
“James is a smart player who is effective on both sides of the puck. He will bring speed and tenacity every night,” Van Helvoirt said.
Training camp begins Friday, August 21.
Victoria opens its 2015-16 season at home on Thursday, September 10 against the Kerry Park Islanders.