WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPARTANS ADD SWISS GOALIE AND FORMER NCAA-PLAYING FORWARD
LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s hockey team bolstered its lineup both in the crease and within the forward unit as Spartans coach Barret Kropf announced the signing of Swiss goalie Silas Matthys (Pfaffikon, Switzerland) and B.C.-born left-winger Andrew Wheeler (Maple Ridge, B.C.) Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Matthys and 22-year-old Wheeler will bring a wealth of experience to the Spartans, as they come to TWU having both played elite-level hockey beyond the junior ranks.
The duo adds to Kropf’s 2013 recruiting class, which also includes J-P Villeneuve (Georgetown, Ont.) and Josh Bruha (Cecil Lake, B.C.).
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Matthys, who graduated from Kantonsschule in Pfaffikon in 2012, joins TWU after playing with HC Sierre of the Swiss B-League in 2012-13. During his one-year stint with Sierre, Matthys saw action in 21 contests and was named player of the game on eight occasions.
Prior to his time with Sierre, Matthys spent five years playing junior hockey with the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers, where he helped the U20 team to the Junioren Elite league semifinals in both 2010-11 and 2011-12.
“Having Silas in our lineup gives us great depth in net for the upcoming season,” Kropf said. “He has played at the elite levels in Europe and his skill set will help us build a solid core in the crease.
“It will be a great battle in our training camp for regular playing time, and that’s the sort of thing we need moving forward. We are spoiled right now with four goalies and I am looking forward to seeing how they will set the tone in the work ethic department, as they vie for a spot on the game sheet.”
Dallas Stars goalie coach Mike Valley, who has worked with Matthys during the summer months added: “Silas is a talented young goaltender who is highly competitive and has a strong work ethic. His skill level and his professional approach to the game make him a valuable asset to any organization.”
Matthys plans to study business administration at TWU.
Wheeler, who graduated from Maple Ridge’s Thomas Haney Secondary in 2009, comes to TWU having last played with the University of New England in 2011-12. While with UNE, playing in the ECAC (Eastern College Athletics Conference) – East, he had one assist in nine games.
Prior to that, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound left winger bounced around the junior circuit at both the junior “A” and “B” levels.
Over his four-year junior career, Wheeler played Junior “A” with the Nipawin Hawks of the SJHL (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) and Junior “B” with the PJHL’s (Pacific Junior Hockey League) Port Moody Black Panthers, the KIJHL’s (Kootenay International Hockey League) Castlegar Rebels and the VIJHL’s (Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League) Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
Following the 2011-12 season with UNE, Wheeler attended training camps in the fall of 2012 with the Ontario Reign of the East Coast Hockey League and the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League.
“As a playmaker, Andrew will be able to create space for some of our returning players, and generate quality scoring chances for us, both on the power play and in even-strength situations,” Kropf said. “Having played at the NCAA level, Andrew is able to bring leadership to our locker room and gives us the depth in our lineup we are going to need to start filling the net this season.”
Wheeler plans to study human kinetics in the sports and leisure management stream while at TWU.
“I am looking forward to the many opportunities available at TWU as well as building a championship hockey team with the Spartans,” Wheeler said. “After being away from home for close to 10 years, I am also looking forward to playing hockey in front of family and friends.”
Last Updated: 2013-07-03