Walsh played with Ottawa 67s
© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
Ramblers host Summerside Saturday at 7 p.m.
AMHERST – The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers have added more size to the lineup, but coach Jim Bottomley is confident his latest addition can put the puck in the net too.
Nursing a 1-4 record and preparing to host the defending league champion Summerside Western Capitals, the Ramblers have acquired forward Daniel Walsh from the Cumberland Grands of the Central Canada Hockey League.
The team also acquired defenceman Trent Johnson from the Grads, but it’s unlikely he will be reporting.
“Daniel is a power forward who can score. Unfortunately, he was being used as a tough guy in major junior, but when he was 17 he 68 points for Cumberland in his first year,” Bottomley said. “He’s going to be a solid addition to the hockey club.”
Bottomley said Walsh is looking for a situation where he can play without having to be the enforcer.
Last year, Walsh played with the Ottawa 67s of the Ontario Hockey League, scoring once and adding four assists in 45 games. Prior to that, the Gloucester, Ont. native had 24 goals and 56 points in 58 games for the Grads. He also had 114 penalty minutes.
Walsh’s father, Bill, played senior hockey for Bill Riley in Newfoundland and Bottomley credited Riley for working to help bring Walsh to Amherst. Another connection to Amherst was through former Rambler Mitch O’Neill, who playing university hockey at Dalhousie with Walsh’s older brother.
Walsh’s brother watched the Ramblers play in Truro last weekend and was impressed with what he saw.
“He’s really looking to hook on with a university team next year. Other teams in our league were wanting him as well. Bill coached his father and talked to him at least two times a day selling him on Amherst,” Bottomley said. “Mitch also played a big role, getting him to go to the game in Truro. He thought his brother would be a good fit for Amherst.”
Bottomley said the Bearcats and the Weeks Crushers were also interested in the forward.
“We just want him to be a goal scorer. He doesn’t need to fill the role he was asked to fill last year,” Bottomley said. “He likes to play in the dirty areas and he’s physical. He plays a bit on the edge and that’s what we want.”
Amherst’s only game this weekend is against Summerside, prior to which the Ramblers will honour the 2013 Atlantic Bantam AA champion Amherst Pioneer Fuels Red Sox.
Bottomley said he’s looking forward to getting the club’s second win of the season, but isn’t taking Summerside for granted.
“They have some offence over there. They may be more inexperienced on defence and in goal, but they are a good hockey club. This league is tight all the way around,” he said. “We’re in a hole right now. We have to play our best hockey to climb out of it. We have two home games coming up that are must-wins.”