Former Cents forward Bill Vandermeer signs with CHL’s Missouri Mavericks:

(Bill Vandermeer skating last season with Oklahoma City)

The Central Hockey League’s Missouri Mavericks have signed former Cents forward Bill Vandermeer.

Fans might remember that Vandermeer was involved in one of the biggest trades in recent memory for the Centennials. At the trade deadline in January 2005, Bill and Blair Riley were dealt to Nanaimo for Rylan Burns, Daryle Hurd, Kevin Lessard and future considerations (which ended up being Trevor McKenzie and Greg Tyshynski).

Here’s the release from the Mavericks:

INDEPENDENCE, Missouri – Missouri Mavericks’ head coach Scott Hillman announced Thursday that the Central Hockey League (CHL) club has signed center Bill Vandermeer to the 2009-10 inaugural Mavericks’ roster. Vandermeer was introduced to a contingent of fans at “Moonlight Movies on the Independence Square” Thursday night.

Vandermeer, 25 (5/3/84), is beginning his fifth pro season with the Mavericks having come off his third straight year in which he has eclipsed the 30-goal plateau. The Caroline, Alberta native has played the last three seasons in the CHL with the Amarillo Gorillas for two seasons and last season with the Oklahoma City Blazers. In his two seasons with the Gorillas, the 5-11, 180-pound center led the team in scoring both seasons, and followed that up by leading the Blazers in goals with 30 and points with 62. Vandermeer started his professional career with the Richmond Riverdogs of the United Hockey League (UHL) during the 2005-06 season scoring 27 points (8-19=27) in 67 games. Prior to turning pro, he played in the junior ranks and recorded 126 points (40-86-126) in 161 games over five seasons.

“The Mavericks will play exciting hockey,” exclaimed Hillman. “Bill has scored over 100 goals in the last three seasons and that is exciting hockey. Having played against Bill, I can tell you that he is tough for defensemen to handle because he finds open ice, has a great shot and a quick release. He is sure to give our fans a lot to cheer about.”

Last season with the Blazers, Vandermeer was named the Oakley CHL Player of the Week for the week of November 17-23, 2008 in which he scored six points (4-2=6) in just three games. He picked a hat trick, the fourth of his career, and added an assist in a 6-0 win over the Tulsa Oilers on January 29, 2009. Vandermeer tallied his 100th goal as a professional on February 13, 2009 in a 4-2 win against the Rapid City Rush.

“We continue to add depth to our lineup,” said Mavericks’ president and general manager Brent Thiessen. “Bill Vandermeer is a player that will score a lot of goals and will be exciting to watch. He is a great character guy and we are looking forward to big things from him. It was also great for us to announce him in front of our fans at Moonlight Movies on the Independence Square.”

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