The Merritt Centennials won’t have F Max Vallis (91) in the line-up this season. The 20-year-old from Santa Clara, California, was drafted by the Omaha Lancers in May and has decided to join the US Hockey League team.
Vallis tied for first on the Cents with 22 goals last season as a BC Hockey League rookie. He also led the Centennials in game winning goals, with three.
His defection obviously leaves a big hole in the Cents line-up, considering Jeff Jones graduated a year early from the BCHL to Robert Morris University, taking his 22 goals with him as well. In fact, Vallis and Jones accounted for 28 percent of the Centennials goals-for last season.
Here’s the release from the Lancers website:
OMAHA, NE – The Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) are pleased to announce they are set to welcome 27 players to Omaha in late-August/September in preparation for the 2011-2012 season. Omaha’s 26th USHL campaign gets underway Friday, September 30th when the Lancers welcome the Waterloo Black Hawks to the Omaha Civic Auditorium.
All 27 players expected to report are protected by the Lancers either by way of the 25-man Protected List or the Affiliate Lists. Rosters for the 2011-2012 regular season don’t need to be finalized until midnight of Sunday, September 24.
Of the 27 players expected to report, Omaha plans to welcome 16 forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders. Moreover, 11 of the 27 incoming players suited up for the Lancers last season including third-year veteran Anthony Hamburg who is the team’s leading returning scorer after posting 21 points in just 31 games a season ago.
Please find below a complete breakdown of the 27 players expected to report to Omaha before the end of the month. Each player’s previous team is listed in parentheses.
Ken Babinski (Omaha Lancers)
Casey Bailey (Alberni Valley Bulldogs)
Adam Chlapik (Omaha Lanceres)
Michael Ferrantino (Compuware U18)
Matthew Gaudreau (Team Comcast)
Kenny Gillespie (Shattuck-St. Mary’s)
Greg Gozzo (Avon Old Farms)
Anthony Hamburg (Omaha Lancers)
Jonathan Liau (Omaha Lancers)
Eli Lichtenwald (Nipawin Hawks)
Myles McCauley (Penticton Vees)
Peter McMullen (Delbarton High School)
Mark Miller (Omaha Lancers)
Jimmy Murrary (Fargo Force)
Reid Sturos (Omaha Lancers)
Max Vallis (Merritt Centennials)
Scott Dornbrock (Grosse Pointe North High School)
David Mead (Omaha Lancers)
Kenney Morrison (Alberni Valley Bulldogs)
Victor Newell (Nanaimo Clippers)
Ben Ostlie (Edina High School)
Vince Pedrie (Apple Valley High School)
Dominic Racobaldo (Omaha Lancers)
Trace Strahle (Langley Chiefs)
Nathan Widman (Omaha Lancers)
John Keeney (Omaha Lancers)
Alex Lyon (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders)