Saturday, July 11, 2009

Winterhawks sign Three

Press Release

The Portland Winterhawks have announced the signings of defenseman Taylor Aronson, left winger Spencer Bennett and right winger Seth Swenson.

Aronson is a 6’1”, 188-pound defenseman who will be 18 (1991 birth year) for the 2009-10 season. The California native registered nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in 45 games with the Los Angeles Junior Kings last season, who were one of the top-ranked midget teams in the country. Aronson chose to join the Winterhawks after being a first round pick of the United States Hockey League’s Tri-City Storm.

“Taylor is a talented defenseman who has the potential to add some offense to our blueline, a vital component to our team in the event we lose Travis Ehrhardt to the Red Wings’ system,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston. “Taylor was a very high draft pick in the USHL and had a difficult decision to make about his future. The USHL is a very good league, but we’re thrilled he’s coming to Portland.”

Bennett, drafted in the fifth round, 141st overall, of this year’s NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, is a 6’3”, 185-pound left winger who will be 19 (1990 birth year) for the 2009-10 season. He played for the Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) last season and had 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points in 60 games. He will join the Winterhawks after receiving a scholarship offer from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

“Spencer has been a talented player in the BCHL for the last several years. He will be a key addition to our young forward group and bring a veteran presence to the locker room,” said Johnston. “In discussions with the Calgary Flames they are looking forward to following Spencer’s progress and development in the WHL.”

Swenson is a 6’0”, 187-pound right winger who will be 16 (1993 birth year) for the 2009-10 season. Last season with the Colorado Thunderbirds of the USA AAA Midget League, he tallied 48 goals and 41 assists for 89 points in 72 games. Swenson had been offered a spot with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program before choosing to sign with the Winterhawks. Portland originally drafted Swenson in the 10th round of the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, 201st overall.

“I have been very impressed with Seth since first seeing him in Detroit last February. He has displayed a goal-scorer’s touch throughout his career, and he brings the potential to be an impact player in our league,” said Johnston. “Like Taylor and Spencer, he had a difficult choice to make as the National Team Development Program is excellent, but it speaks to the potential of our team that all three players chose to join the Winterhawks.”

The Winterhawks will open training camp Saturday, August 22, and host their preseason opener Saturday, August 29 against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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