6 OHL Grads Start Season with Arizona Sundogs

arizona sundogs central hockey leagueIn the Greater Toronto Area and want to see the Arizona Sundogs and their six Ontario Hockey League grads play at the Powerade Centre? Too late. For cost savings, the Central Hockey League schedule looks more like Major League Baseball than the NHL with teams in town for a series as opposed to a single game. The opponents for the inaugural weekend of CHL hockey for the Brampton Beast? The Arizona Sundogs. The teams played three games with Brampton winning two. They will play three more times, all at Prescott Valley, Arizona.

The Sundogs have been in the CHL since 2006-07 and were Ray Miron President’s Cup champions in just their second year. This past season, Arizona lost in the quarter-finals. The Sundogs are affiliated with the Portland Pirates in the AHL and the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL. They play home games at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, a 5,100 seat venue opened in 2006. Arizona currently has six OHL grads on the roster and one more behind the bench as head coach.

Andrew Engelage

An updated article on this player is available here: Andrew Engelage

Engelage played three years in the OHL from 2006-07 to 2008-09, all with the Windsor Spitfires. Andrew was a 13th round pick by Windsor in 2005 and took on the bulk of the goaltending duties in 2008-09 as the Spitfires captured the Hamilton Spectator Trophy, Robertson Cup and Memorial Cup.

Undrafted, the Toronto Maple Leafs organization signed Engelage as a free agent out of junior. He has played pro hockey since 2009-10 in the AHL, ECHL and CHL. In 2012-13, he played for the Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL.

Matt McCready

McCready played four years in the OHL from 2004-05 to 2007-08 with the London Knights, Sarnia Sting and Toronto/Mississauga Majors. Originally, he was a seventh round pick by the Knights at the 2004 OHL Priority Selection. Matt went the university route and played with the Windsor Lancers from 2008-09 to 2011-12. He has only played pro in the CHL. In 2012-13, McCready was traded to the Sundogs midway through the season from the Missouri Mavericks.

Kevin R. Baker

Baker played three years in the OHL from 1997-98 to 1999-00, all with the Belleville Bulls. In 1998-99, with the Bulls winning the Robertson Cup championship, Kevin scored 12 goals over 12 playoff games. He was a seventh round pick of the Los Angeles Kings at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft but also went the university route, playing for Acadia in the AUS.

Kevin has played pro hockey since 2000-01 in the AHL, ECHL, Germany’s 2.Bundesliga, Italy’s LIHG and the CHL. Baker can score. In 2008-09, he netted 57 goals over 70 games in the ECHL with the Florida Everblades. His 102 points led the ECHL. He set a league record for most powerplay goals in a season. He was named the ECHL Player of the Year.

In 2012-13, Baker split his season between three teams in two leagues. He started his year with the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL before moving on the Evansville Icemen in the same league. Kevin ended up with Arizona at the end of the year, playing ten games and scoring eight goals.

Paul McIlveen

McIlveen played just ten games in the OHL, all in 2004-05 with the Ottawa 67’s. He then moved on to play the rest of his junior career with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the QMJHL. Paul has played pro since 2007-08 in the ECHL, AHL, Germany’s DEL and Germany’s 2.Bundesliga. In 2012-13, his season was limited to nine games with the Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL. 2013-14 is his first year in the CHL and first with the Sundogs.

Jason Morgan

Morgan played three years in the OHL from 1993-94 to 1995-96 with the Kitchener Rangers and Kingston Frontenacs. Kitchener drafted him in the third round of the 1993 OHL Priority Selection and he was traded to the Frontenacs midway through 1994-95.

The Los Angeles Kings selected Jason in the fifth round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, 118th overall. He has played 44 NHL regular season games, all between 1996-97 and 2006-07, with the Kings, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild.

He has played pro since 1996-97 in the ECHL, IHL, NHL, AHL, Sweden’s SHL, Austria’s EBEL, Norway’s Get Ligaen and the CHL. 2012-13 was his first year with the Sundogs and first year in the Central Hockey League.

Damian Surma

Surma played four years in the OHL from 1998-99 to 2001-02, all with the Plymouth Whalers. He was originally a ninth round pick by the team in 1998. The team was quite successful during his stay, leading the league and winning the Hamilton Spectator Trophy in 1998-99, 1999-00 and 2001-02, along with reaching the Robertson Cup finals twice. In 1999-00, the Whalers fell to the Barrie Colts in seven and in 2000-01, Plymouth was dropped in six games by the Ottawa 67’s.

The Carolina Hurricanes took Damian in the sixth round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in one game with the Hurricanes in 2002-03 and one more with Carolina the following year. Surma has played pro since 2002-03 in the AHL, NHL, ECHL, UHL, LIHG, CHL and IHL. he has played in the CHL since 2010-11 and was a member of the Rapid City Rush in 2012-13. 2013-14 is Damian’s first year with Arizona.

Kevin Colley – Head Coach

Colley played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1996-97 to 1998-99 with the Oshawa Generals. He was a third round pick by Oshawa in 1996. Kevin played for the United States at the 1998 and 1999 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. In 1998, the U.S. lost to the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals and placed fifth in the tournament. In 1999, the States did not qualify for the playoff round and placed eighth in the tournament.

Kevin played in 16 NHL games, all with the New York Islanders in 2005-06, his final year of pro hockey as a player. He played pro from 1999-00 to 2005-06 in the AHL, ECHL and NHL. Colley was head coach of the Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL from 2008-09 to 2012-13. This is his first year as head coach of the Arizona Sundogs.

 

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