READERS PLEASE NOTE: This article was published
The Rams men’s hockey team has added some offensive punch to its roster.
Forward Matt Mistele, who registered 33 goals and 58 points in 61 Ontario Hockey League games last season, has been added to the Rams roster for the 2016-17 campaign.
“We see him as the total package,” said Rams interim head coach Johnny Duco. “He’s a really good kid and he’s a hard worker. He came in with very solid academics. He kind of fit the bill of what we’re looking for in a complete student athlete. Obviously, his ability to score goals is something that we looked at highly. We’re really excited to have them.”
Duco said the Rams had been keeping tabs on Mistele since last September. A sixth-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 NHL Draft, the 20-year-old attended Boston Bruins rookie camp this year in the hopes of landing a NHL deal.
“He was committed to coming back to school if he didn’t get a NHL deal,” said Duco. “We’re fortunate to have him coming back.”
Duco said Mistele’s NHL camp experience could benefit the entire Rams team.
“When these guys come back [from camp], they’ve definitely seen how it is and had a taste of that next level. It’s an experience that they can share with some of our other players to motivate them a bit.”
Mistele spent five seasons in the OHL, playing with the Plymouth Whalers, Oshawa Generals and Sarnia Sting. The 20-year-old split last season with Oshawa and Sarnia.
After recording five points in 28 games in his rookie season with Plymouth in 2011-12, Mistele had a breakout sophomore campaign, recording 34 goals and 60 points in 68 contests. He finished his OHL career with 125 goals and 224 points in 272 games.
Mistele also brings some championship experience to the Rams, helping the Generals win OHL and Memorial Cup titles in 2014-15.
Duco said Mistele could be in the Rams lineup this weekend when the team travels to Connecticut to play the NCAA’s Sacred Heart Pioneers.