Domenic Alberga leaves the Rams after two productive seasons.

Domenic Alberga leaves the Rams after two productive seasons.

Three Ryerson men’s hockey players are moving on to the professional level to continue their careers.

Forward Domenic Alberga and defenceman Dean Willmott signed in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) with Greenville and Brampton respectively, while defenceman Mark Corbett signed a three game tryout with the Mississippi River Kings of Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL).

Alberga leaves after the Rams after two successful years in which he totalled 36 goals and 75 points in 53 career games. The talented scorer also won Ontario University Athletics (OUA) western division rookie of the year and was named to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) All-Rookie team in his time at Ryerson. He joins a winning team in the Greenville Road Warriors, an affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers.

Ryerson men’s hockey head coach Graham Wise says Greenville will be looking for the same things from Alberga that the Rams were “He can put the puck in the net at the CIS level and they’re going to be looking for him to score goals as well.”

Willmott and Corbett leave Ryerson after a full four years with the program. Willmott leaves with eight goals and 25 points in 103 career games as a Ram, while Corbett tallied nine goals and 34 points in 104 career games at Ryerson. Corbett was also well-known around campus for his fundraising efforts during Ryerson’s annual Movember campaign.

Wise says it will be tough to replace the duo and believes they will succeed at the next level “They’re both good defenceman who know how to win and have experience. The game is faster at the higher levels but they can play, we’ll have to recruit well to replace them.”

Wise also discussed the dilemma of players like Alberga leaving the program early for the professional ranks “We wish kids would graduate before moving on like Willmott and Corbett did, but sometimes guys like Alberga see the opportunity and have to take it while it’s there which is understandable.”

This situation is nothing new to Wise as his son Jamie left the team after last season to turn pro after being named an OUA all-star and team MVP, and now plays for the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League (AHL) an affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Coach Wise understands though, saying that every kid in this country laces up their skates dreaming of playing professional hockey.

Pierce graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism in 2015. @PierceOLeary