AMHERST – The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers have their big man.
The Ramblers announced the signing Tuesday of 6’5”, 235-pound forward Blake Millman, who spent last season between the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“I’m excited about playing in Amherst. I understand the team is going to be pretty strong this year and I’m looking forward to being a part of it,” the 20-year-old Alberton, P.E.I. resident said.
In 54 games with Cape Breton and Quebec last season, Millman had three goals and an assist while picking up 63 penalty minutes. In 2011-12, his first full season in the QMJHL, he had two goals and 107 penalty minutes.
“I like to play a physical style, but I want to develop my game a little more before going to play university hockey. I had offers to go elsewhere, including an opportunity to play pro, but I want to play my last year of junior and focus on school,” he said.
His toughness was well known in major junior and in 2011 he received an invite to the training camp of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes.
In Millman, the Ramblers get a player they have coveted for several years since drafting him in the sixth round, 59th overall, in the 2010 Maritime Junior Hockey League draft.
“He will play a big role in our lineup this season,” Ramblers’ coach Jim Bottomley said. “He wants to go play at the university level next season but he needs to play a lot. We’re going to try to give him those opportunities and put him in a lot of situations so he can play university.”
Bottomley said his stature alone will have a presence on the ice. He envisions him being a force in front of the other team’s net, sort of like Grant West did last season with both the Campbellton Tigers and the Truro Bearcats.
“Everyone knows what his role was in the Q, but he wants to play hockey and we see him as being a major asset in our hockey club this season,” Bottomley said. “He’s going to have a physical presence out there and he should have a big year with us.”