The Canisius College hockey team signed four players to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, announced by head coach Dave Smith on Monday.
Defender Zack Pittman (Macomb, Mich.) and forwards Jeff Murray (Newmarket, Ontario), Ryan Schmelzer (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Nolan Sheeran (East Amherst, N.Y.) are all set to join the Golden Griffin program, beginning in the 2014-15 season.
“We lose a lot from the Class of 2014 but these four newcomers are all very talented and each bring different qualities to our program,” Smith said. “I’m eager to see their skills and competitiveness and how each can make our team better through their individual efforts. It’s also exciting as this class will be the first to start their college careers at HARBORcenter and we’re looking forward to making HARBORcenter a top destination for players from the United States and Canada to develop in.”
Pittman is currently a defender with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. In 76 career games with the Stars, Pittman has recorded 10 points, four goals, six assists and a plus/minus rating of +21. The Macomb, Mich. native finished the 2012-13 season ranked fourth on the team with a +24 plus/minus rating and eighth overall in the USHL among defensemen.
Murray has accumulated 36 points, 19 goals and 17 assists in 28 games with the Whitby Fury of the OJHL this season. In October, the forward was invited to the Team Canada East Selection Camp for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge. Murray was also honored with OJHL Top Prospects All-Star Team accolades last season while playing with the Newmarket Hurricanes, where he totaled 21 points, nine goals and 12 assists in 53 games.
Schmelzer is in his third season with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the OJHL. The team’s captain this season, Schmelzer has totaled 14 points, six goals and eight assists in 16 games during the 2013-14 campaign, while collecting 132 points, 50 goals and 82 assists during his career. The Buffalo, N.Y. native, who also played at Williamsville East High School under former Griff Mike Torrillo, was selected to the Canada Cup All-Star Game in 2013.
Also a member of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, Sheeran has totaled 27 points, 10 goals and 17 assists in 28 games during the 2013-14 campaign and 81 points, 30 goals and 51 assists in two seasons. Sheeran also played two seasons at Williamsville North High School under former Griff Bob Rosen.
The defending Atlantic Hockey Champions, Canisius is 4-7-1 during the 2013-14 campaign and 3-3-1 in conference play. The Griffs return to action this weekend with a pair of games at Army. The schools begin the series on Friday at 7:05 p.m.