WICHITA FALLS, Texas – The Wichita Falls Wildcats are pleased to announce 11 players have signed tender agreements for the 2014-15 North American Hockey League season.
The group of 11 players is comprised of nine forwards and two defenseman from 10 different states, and boasts three skaters who have already committed to play college hockey at Division I institutions following their junior careers.
“With the returning group that we have, it was important that we loaded up on forward talent with our tenders,” head coach John LaFontaine said. “[Assistant Coach] Chris [Ceransky] and [Team President] Paul [Baxter] did a great job identifying smart, skilled players up the middle who have the potential to make a quick adjustment to the junior level.
Austin Albrecht: F, New Jersey Rockets
Albrecht, a ’96 birth year, spent last season with the New Jersey Rockets of the Eastern Hockey League. In 38 games played, the Flemington, NJ-native posted 28 points on 18 goals and 10 assists. Albrecht has already gotten a taste of the NAHL after skating for the Wildcats as an affiliate player against the Corpus Christi IceRays on Dec. 13 and 14.
Kevin Charyszyn: F, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers 18U (Committed to the Air Force Academy – AHA)
A proven point-producer, Charyszyn was one of the leading scorers for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers this past season, posting 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points in 35 games played. The Jamison, Pa.-native ranked second on the team in goals and third in overall points to help the Flyers notch a 25-10-1 record in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League, the nation’s top midget major circuit. Charyszyn played two games with the Wildcats as an affiliate player last season, and is committed to the Air Force Academy for 2015-16.
Trent Dillinger: F, Gillette Wild
Dillinger split time between two leagues last season, skating in 21 games for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in the NAHL, before finishing the season in the American West Hockey League with the Gillette Wild. A physical forward who is strong on his skates, Dillinger averaged almost a point-per-game with the Wild, tallying a goal and 10 assists in 13 games, and concluded his 2013-14 campaign with a 3-12-15 line in 34 games across the two leagues.
Alex Falconer: F, Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep
A native of Kohler, Wisc., Falconer spent the last two years playing prep hockey at Shattuck St. Mary’s school in Faribault, Minn. Last season, the winger notched 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 46 games for the Sabres. During his time at SSM, Falconer worked with new Wildcats Head Coach John LaFontaine while playing for the Sabres’ Bantam team, posting a 27-43-70 line in 60 games played under LaFontaine during the 2010-11 season.
Ryan Finnegan: F, Baltimore Skipjacks 16U (Committed to Quinnipiac University – ECAC)
Standing at 5 feet 6 inches, Finnegan’s size is no detriment to his point production. The Tecumseh, Kans.-native led the United States Premier Hockey League’s 16U division in scoring last season, posting a 28-51-79 line in 29 games played for the Baltimore Skipjacks. Finnegan, who was also drafted by the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League this year, is committed to Quinnipiac University for 2016-17.
Austin Hingtgen: D, Lake Forest Academy
Hingtgen spent the past two seasons skating for Lake Forest Academy in the Midwest Prep Hockey League. Last year, he registered 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 total points to lead all Lake Forest defensemen in scoring. A native of Williston, ND, Hingtgen is one of two defenseman to tender with the Wildcats for the 2014-15 campaign.
Erich Jaeger: F, Missoula Maulers
Jaeger is a versatile, two-way forward whose physical nature and intelligence make him an asset at center and on the wing. The ’96 birth year was second on his team in scoring last season, posting 16 goals and 22 assists for 38 points in 45 games for the Missoula Maulers of the Western States Hockey League. The Couer d’Alene, Idaho-native saw time in all situations last year, with 15 of his 38 points coming on the power play.
Cam Knight: D, Lawrence Academy (Committed to Alabama Huntsville – WCHA)
A native of North Reading, Mass., Knight is primed to start his junior career after completing two years at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass. Last season, he posted eight goals and five assists for 13 points in 28 games played for the Spartans. Knight is committed to the University of Alabama Huntsville for 2015-16.
Jonathan Lazarus: F, New Jersey Rockets
A ’96 birth year, Lazarus is a strong, physical forward with the ability to put up points. In 39 games played for the New Jersey Rockets (EHL) last season he was the team’s third-leading scorer, registering 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points. Standing at 6 foot, 180 pounds, Lazarus hails from Syosset, NY.
Ethan Solat: F, Pikes Peak Miners 18U
Ethan Solat, along with his twin brother Jeremy, has spent the past several seasons playing with the Pikes Peak Miners program in Colorado Springs, Colo. Ethan led the Miners 18U in scoring last season, posting 27 points (20 goals, seven assists) in 24 games in the North American Prospects Hockey League. The Centennial, Colo.-native skated in two contests with the Wildcats in 2013-14 as an affiliate player.
Jeremy Solat: F, Pikes Peak Miners 18U
Like his brother Ethan, Jeremy Solat has been a crucial piece of the Pikes Peak Miners program in recent years. He posted a 7-14-21 line in 24 games played for the Miners’ midget major squad last year, making him the team’s third-leading scorer. Jeremy can frequently be found playing on the wing with his brother, Ethan, at center.
NOTE: A tender agreement is a contract between player and team. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team, and he may not be recruited by any other organization within the NAHL. Tendered players are eligible to try out for teams in any league other than the NAHL, but may not try for another team in the league without written permission.