HK Acroni Jesenice of Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga has begun re-tooling for the 2011-12 season after a dismal 2010-11. Jesenice was six goals removed from being the lowest scoring team in the ten team league while finishing in last place overall. After picking up three Ontario Hockey League grads that have been known for their offensive abilities, goal scoring shouldn’t be a problem going into next season.
Yesterday, it was confirmed that Ontario Hockey League grads Dylan Hunter, Tyler Donati and Justin Donati will join the Slovenia based team. All three played in the North American minor leagues in 2010-11.
Dylan Hunter spent five years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2001-02 to 2005-06, all with the London Knights. In 2004-05, along with winning the Robertson Cup and Memorial Cup with the Knights, Hunter placed second in league scoring with 104 points during the regular season. In his final season, the point total increased to 117 but his position in the OHL dropped to fourth.
Dylan was taken by the Buffalo Sabres in the ninth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, 273rd overall. He has since bounced around with several teams in the AHL and ECHL. This past season, Hunter played for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL and was an alternate captain. He finished out the year with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL.
Similar to the NHL’s Sedin twins, the Donati’s have taken turns over the past two seasons leading the ECHL in scoring. In 2009-10, it was Tyler leading the league with 114 points. This past season, it was Justin taking the title with 94.
Justin Donati played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League split between the Oshawa Generals, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors and Sudbury Wolves. In 2005-06, Justin finished eight points and two positions in OHL scoring behind Dylan Hunter. This will be Justin’s second attempt at Europe, having played three games with Thurgau of Switzerland’s National League B at the start of the 2009-10 season.
In an Ontario Hockey League season when the show was stolen by Patrick Kane and John Tavares, Tyler Donati’s 2006-07 offensive totals were overshadowed. Donati finished fourth in points in the OHL with 129 on 54 goals and 75 assists with the Belleville Bulls. He added another 26 in 15 playoff games.
Tyler Donati played four seasons in the OHL, split between the Oshawa Generals, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors and Belleville Bulls. This past season, Tyler was limited to nine games with the AHL’s Connecticut Whale and 18 with the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals. Like brother Justin, Tyler played three games in with Thurgau in Switzerland at the start of the 2009-10 season.