(Bradford, ON; June 1st, 2012)
Sean Werth

The Bradford Rattlers are pleased to announce 16 players that have signed for the 2012-2013 season. “It’s already looking to be the strongest team we have ever put together,” said coach Lundskog. Eight players will be returning from last year’s squad, with eight more signing from free agency. 

Returning players will include: Nicolas Thommen, Ugo Jaffeux, Brandon Falsarella, Andreas Norrby, Myles Neuneker, Tim Philley, Joe Gatti and Nicholas Baldassarra.

Players which have been signed from free agency include: Daniel Ahre, Matej Bazant, Jakub Vrana, Filip Kutak, Vilem Opatrny, Dino Gombar, Duncan Cameron and Corey Klimas.

Swedish goaltender Daniel Ahre will be standing between the pipes for the Rattlers this season. Ahre is expected to step in and contribute to the Rattlers line-up.

Matej Bazant is one of four players from the Czech Republic that will be joining the Rattlers roster. Bazant is a ‘96 born, talented defensemen coming to the Rattlers program on high recommendation. Matej has already spent one season in North America, where he played Tier 1 AAA in the states, in the same league as Shattuck’s St. Mary’s world reunion program.

Jakub Vrana is another talented player from the Czech Republic. The ‘95 born forward has been playing in Czech’s top leagues and is now looking to move to Canada. In Czech’s U16 junior league, Jakub put up 22 points (14g, 8a) in only 13 games. Vrana earned a promotion to Czech’s U18 league for the second half of last season. He was playing against Czech’s top 18 year olds, when he was just 15 years of age. Vrana was also selected for the Czech Republic’s IIHF U17 World Junior Championship training camp.

Filip Kutak spent last season on the same team as Matej Bazant. Kutak led his team in goals and total points last season in the prestigious Tier 1 AAA HPHL in the states. After adjusting to the level of play as a ’96, Kutak should be a regular contributing forward for the Rattlers.

Vilem Opatrny is the final forward signed from the Czech Republic. The ’95 born forward should benefit from development in the Rattlers program.

Veteran Swiss forward Dino Gombar will add some much needed experience to the Rattlers line-up. Gombar, 20, has been playing junior hockey since the age of 15 across all parts of Europe. After dominating one of Switzerland’s Elite B league in 2010 at a point-per-game pace, he signed to play professionally in Austria’s top professional league. At the midpoint of last season, Gombar left his professional team to play in Slovenia’s U20 top league. Dino recorded 18 points (7g, 11a) in 8 regular season games while in Slovenia. The Swiss forward stands 5’10, 176lbs.

Duncan Cameron will be joining the Rattlers this season. Cameron was the Rattler’s 6th round selection in the 2012 GMHL Entry Draft, selected out of the Mississauga Icedogs AAA program. Cameron spent last off-season training at the Bradford Rattlers training affiliate the World Hockey Centre. This is where the Rattlers first spotted the young forward.

 The final signing to be announced is Corey Kilmas. Kilmas played in 44 games last season for the North Bay Trappers of the NOJHL. The ’91 born defenseman stands 6’1”, 195lbs and chipped in 9 points (4g, 5a) last season. Corey will add a veteran presence to Bradford’s line-up with the many rookies signed.

“It takes four lines to win our league now,” concluded Lundskog, “we saw last year just how strong this league has become, we need to adjust to remain competitive.” Lundskog continued to preach the player-first development program that has made the Rattlers the powerhouse you see today. 

Stay tuned to the as many more players will be confirmed shortly. Bradford also has several updates regarding players from last year’s team that have moved onto higher levels, which will be released shortly.

More to come!