The Ontario Tech Ridgebacks have gone public with the news that a new player will be joining their team this fall, an announcement with a possible impact here in the Soo.
According to their press release, Cullen McLean will be leaving the Greyhounds for the men’s league. This statement is not corroborated by the Greyhounds.
SaultOnline was able to make contact with Greyhounds’ General Manager, Kyle Raftis, who gave us this quote.
“Cullen’s intentions are to play in the OHL next season as an OA. If that isn’t able to happen then he will continue with his hockey and academic career with the UOIT Ridgebacks. Cullen has been a great member of the Greyhounds, both on and off the ice, for the past three seasons and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavours,” said Raftis.
The 6’2 centre has spent the last 2 seasons with the Greyhounds and has finished with 11 goals, and 26 points in 111 games. He has also participated in the summer development camp held by the Vegas Golden Nights in 2019.
Avid Greyhounds fan and writer, Peter Florio, thinks the hit to the organization won’t be too bad if Cullen doesn’t make the cut. He says the team has a serious issue when it comes to OA’s this year.
“The Greyhounds are loaded at potential OAs, They looked for a trading partner for McLean last year as well and couldn’t make it happen,” said Florio.
He provided SaultOnline with a possible list of overage players returning this fall to the GFL centre ice, they include.
-Ethan Taylor ( G )
-Drew Wawarow ( D )
-Robert Calisti ( D )
-Billy Constantinou ( D )
-Tye Kartye ( F )
-Cullen McLean ( F )
-Alex Johnston ( F )
-Joe Carroll ( F )
-Cole MacKay ( F )
-Jaromir Pytlik ( if returning – F )
Florio noted that, of the list above, the Greyhounds can only dress 3, and carry 4 until Christmas.
The Ontario Tech Ridgeback release continues,
“We are excited to be adding Cullen to our Ontario Tech family. He is a very talented player who resides right here in our backyard and we are looking forward to working with him on and off the ice to help develop his talents,” said head coach, Curtis Hodgins. “Cullen is excited and eager to join our program and to begin his U SPORTS athletic and academic pursuits and we look ahead to seeing him in the Ridgebacks’ jersey come the fall.
Prior to his time with the Greyhounds, he played for the Ajax/Pickering Raiders U16 and U18 teams, amassing 58 points in 65 games.
“I’m very excited to join the Ridgebacks,” said McLean. “Staying close to home is amazing and the campus, along with the rink, is top notch. I’m excited to get things going.”
Starting this fall, McLean will be enrolled in the Health Sciences program.”
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