Mike Sones will be off to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to play Division I hockey with the Mercyhurst College Lakers in Erie, Pennsylvania next year, but until then Grande Prairie fans will get to enjoy watching the speedy forward.
Sones, 19, has joined the Storm and is expected to be in the lineup this week when the Storm head to Drayton Valley for a game against the Thunder Tuesday and then host home games against the Sherwood Park Crusaders on Friday and Saturday in the Canada Games Arena.
“Mike will be looked upon to help add some secondary scoring on our hockey team,” said Storm coach/general manager Blaine Bablitz of the Waterdown, Ont. native. “Mike has good speed, vision and a great shot.”
Sones had started the season with the defending Royal Bank Cup champion Pembroke Lumber Kings where he had three goals and five points in 19 games. He was acquired for future considerations.
The previous season, 2010-2011, he was with the Powell River Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League where he had eight goals and 11 assists in 54 games and in 2009-2010 he was with the Cambridge Winter Hawks of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League where he had 27 goals and 16 assists in 51 games.
Bablitz is expecting Sones to bring more than just offence.
“I also hope he will be able to help us the penalty kill,” said the Storm mentor.
He stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 165 pounds and will add some veteran presence to the dressing room.
“Mike is a great team guy and will be looked upon to be a big part of this team moving forward,” said Bablitz.
Sones may be one of two new faces in the lineup this week.
Defenceman Sean Flynn is on a tryout with the team after starting the year with the BCHL Nanaimo Clippers.
Flynn is 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds and hails from Cary, North Carolina.
He played six games with the Clippers this year with one assist and four penalty minutes and last year played high school hockey with the Sioux Falls Flyers where he had a goal and an assist in six games.
There are three players no longer with the team.
Defenceman Steven Norman has been traded to the Kindersley Klippers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League; defenceman Kristopher Dalton has returned home to Red Deer to concentrate on his schooling and play Junior B hockey; and forward Frederic Merette has an injury that will prevent him from finishing the year. He is expected to have an operation over the winter and hopes to be back with the team next season.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)