Soo Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Dubas announced this afternoon the commitment of CHARLEY GRAASKAMP to the Program. The news comes prior to the Ontario Hockey League’s 12 noon Final signing period.
“We are very pleased today to announce the commitment of Charley to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. To add a player of Charley’s pedigree and potential prior to today’s signing deadline is another step in our development as a academic hockey program” began Hounds General Manager Kyle Dubas. “It was clear from my first meeting with Charley and his family that he would be a fit for our Program as it pertained to character and academics.”
Graaskamp, from Eau Claire, WISCONSIN, was the leading scorer with the Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes (High School) where he had posted 18 goals and 29 assists, good for 47 points in 22 games played this season. Graaskamp served as the team captain. In 2013, Graaskamp helped lead Eau Claire to the Wisconsin State Championship as a Junior, while totaling 51 points in 27 games.
“Overall, I’m very excited. We have heard nothing but good things about the organization as a whole, and our experiences with Coach Keefe and Kyle Dubas, have been nothing but positive encounters. We look at it as an opportunity of a lifetime and can't wait to get started” started Graaskamp.
“I think what sold us was first, how genuine and professional the Greyhounds were about everything. Everything was handled in a very professional way. Second, would probably be the success the program has seen on and off the ice thus far” he continued.
The 6.01, 180-lb centreman has been rated as a B Propsect by NHL Central Scouting for the upcoming entry draft. Additionally, he is one of the 10 finalists for the State’s (WI) “Mr. Hockey” award.
Previously Graaskamp was selected in 2013 by the USHL’s Tri-City Storm.
“Charley possess excellent offensive instincts and vision. We feel that there will be a certain adjustment period to playing at the Ontario Hockey League level but under the guidance of our coaching staff we feel that Charley will be put in a position to maximize his potential over the course of his eligibility” stated Dubas.
The newest Greyhound gave credit to his previous team’s on the influence they have had on his career.
“Playing in the WI-HS system I have been fortunate enough to be with a great High School team like Memorial and a great AAA team like Team Wisconsin. Both have been key in development for myself as a player and a person. At my High School it is a great opportunity to play with kids you've been on the ice with since you could barely skate. Both programs have been nothing but positive, growing experience and both deserve a lot of credit”
Added Dubas, “We would like to thank the faculty and ice hockey staff at Eau Claire Memorial High School for their support and understanding of Charley’s decision. Their guidance throughout Charley’s academic and hockey career over the past three and a half seasons have allowed Charley to earn this opportunity.”
Graaskamp is expected to arrive in Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday and join the Greyhounds for practice on Thursday. Graaskamp will wear number 22 for the Greyhounds.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)