Meet the 2011-2012 Tri-City Americans

September 23, 2011 

Meet the 2011-12 Tri-City Americans Opening:

Coach

Jim Hiller

Age: 42.
Hometown: Port Alberni, British Columbia.
Coaching experience: 2010-11, led the Americans to a 44-24-2-2 record. Lost in the second round of the playoffs to Spokane in six games. 2009-10, in his first year with the Americans, led the team to its third consecutive U.S. Division title with a 47-22-1-2 record and its first-ever Western Conference title. Lost in the WHL Finals to Calgary in five games. 2008-09, led Chilliwack Bruins to a 19-46-2-5 record, the worst in the three-year history of the franchise. Finished last in the B.C. Division, ninth in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs. 2007-08, led the Bruins to Chilliwack’s best season in franchise history with a 28-35-0-9 mark. Finished third in the B.C. Division before being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Vancouver Giants. 2006-07, in his first year with Chilliwack, the Bruins finished 25-40-5-2, finished fourth in the B.C. Division. Lost in the first round of playoffs to Vancouver in five games.
Did you know?: He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 10th round (207th overall) of the 1989 NHL draft. ... He played 3 years at Northern Michigan, winning the NCAA title in 1991 as a sophomore.

Goalies

Eric Comrie

Age: 16.
Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 175.
NHL draft: Eligible 2013.
How acquired: 2010 bantam draft (1st round, 13th overall).
Last season: In 19 games for the LA Selects (midget U16), he was 16-2-0-0 with 5 shutouts, a 1.34 GAA and a .940 save percentage. Was the starting goalie for Team Alberta at the U16 Canada Winter Games, winning a bronze medal. He posted a tournament-best 1.94 GAA and a .927 save percentage.
Did you know?: His older brother Mike Comrie (played for Pittsburgh Penguins last season) is married to Hilary Duff. ... His dad, Bill, played for the Edmonton Oil Kings (1968-69).

Ty Rimmer

Age: 19.
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 170.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: In a trade with Prince George for goalie Drew Owsley and a conditional 2013 seventh-round bantam draft pick.
Last season: As a rookie, he played in 43 games for the Cougars, going 17-20-0-2, with a 3.29 GAA, an .899 save percentage and four shutouts.
Did you know?: His godfather is Grant Fuhr. ... He was drafted by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2007 bantam draft (14th round, 303rd overall). He was the next-to-last player drafted.

Defensemen

Drydn Dow

Age: 19.
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta.
Height: 5-9.
Weight: 165.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Listed March 2009.
Last season: In 53 games, had 4 goals, 7 assists and a plus-7 rating. In the playoffs, he played in 10 games with 1 assist.
Did you know?: His cousin Janet Holden is married to actor Eric McCormack (Will & Grace).

Sam Grist

Age: 18.
Hometown: North Saanich, British Columbia.
Height: 6-4.
Weight: 205.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Listed April 2010.
Last season: In his rookie season, he had 3 assists, 107 PIMs and a minus-11 rating in 56 games.
Did you know?: The first hockey team he played on was the Peninsula Eagles. He was 5 years old.

Riley Guenther

Age: 17.
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 190.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: 2009 bantam draft (3rd round, 63rd overall).
Last season: In 29 games for the Calgary Northstars (midget AAA), he had 8 goals, 9 assists and 22 PIMs.
Did you know?: He made his WHL debut Oct. 10, 2010, against Kelowna. ... A multi-talented athlete, he played volleyball, basketball and lacrosse when he was younger.

Justin Hamonic

Age: 17.
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Height: 6-3.
Weight: 195.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: 2009 bantam draft (5th round, 102nd overall).
Last season: In 34 games for the Winnipeg Monarchs (midget AAA), he had 6 goals, 15 assists and 54 PIMs.
Did you know?: Has the biggest feet on the team — size 15.

Matt MacKenzie

Age: 20.
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta.
Height: 6-1.
Weight: 195.
NHL draft: Taken in the 3rd round (83rd overall) of the 2010 draft by the Buffalo Sabres.
How acquired: Acquired in a trade with the Calgary Hitmen on Jan. 10 for center Brooks Macek, defenseman Spencer Humphries and a conditional third-round 2012 bantam draft pick.
Last season: In 40 games with Calgary, he had 2 goals and 21 assists. In 33 games with the Americans, he scored 5 goals with 10 assists and a plus-4 rating. In the playoffs, he had 1 goal and 4 assists in 10 games.
Did you know?: He played for Calgary in the 2010 playoffs, where the Hitmen beat the Americans in the WHL Finals. ... Was held over the Sabres’ main camp this fall.

Michal Plutnar

Age: 17.
Hometown: Chotebor, Czech Republic.
Height: 6-2.
Weight: 175.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Taken in the 2011 CHL Import Draft (1st round, 48th overall).
Last season: Split his time between HC Liberec U18 and U20 clubs, playing in a total of 50 games while scoring four goals, with 18 assists and 28 penalty minutes.
Did you know?: He played for the Czech Republic at the World U17 Hockey Challenge.

Mackenzie Royer

Age: 19.
Hometown: Spruce Grove, Alberta.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 195.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Signed as a free agent in August.
Last season: Had 1 goal and 1 assist in 16 games for Calgary before being traded to Moose Jaw. For the Warriors, he had 5 goals and 4 assists in 19 games before being reassigned to the Camrose Kodiaks of the AJHL, where he had 2 goals and 2 assists in 10 games. Camrose lost in the semifinals of the Royal Bank Cup.
Did you know?: He was a second-round bantam pick (36th overall) of the Hitmen in 2007. ... Played against the Americans in the WHL Finals in 2010, a series Calgary won 4-1 en route to the Memorial Cup.

Brock Sutherland

Age: 20.
Hometown: Brandon, Manitoba.
Height: 6-2.
Weight: 205.
NHL draft: Free agent.
How acquired: In a trade with Lethbridge on Nov. 5, 2008.
Last season: Played all 72 games, scoring 4 goals with 19 assists and 69 PIMs. Played all 10 playoff games, notching 4 assists.
Did you know?: Grandfather Perry Allan was a goal judge for the original Winnipeg Jets. He also was a baseball umpire at the 1967 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.

Mitch Topping

Age: 18.
Hometown: Red Deer, Alberta.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 195.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: On Aug. 5 in a trade with the Victoria Royals (formerly Chilliwack Bruins) for a 2013 second-round bantam draft pick and prospect Justin Spagrud, 16.
Last season: In 71 games for the Chilliwack Bruins, he had 5 goals, 11 assists, a minus-9 rating and 47 PIMs.
Did you know?: When he was with Chilliwack, he fought current teammate Adam Hughesman on Jan. 10, 2010. Hughesman put Topping down with a right hook. It was Topping’s first WHL fight. ... His dad, Craig Topping, grew up in Australia and was a rugby player.

Zach Yuen

Age: 18.
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 200.
NHL draft: Taken in the 4th round (119th overall) of the 2011 draft by the Winnipeg Jets. How acquired: 2008 bantam draft (1st round, 22nd overall).
Last season: Played all 72 games, scoring 8 goals with 24 assists and a team-high plus-41 rating. In the playoffs, had three assists in 10 games.
Did you know?: His plus-41 rating ranked eighth in the WHL last year. ... Went to the Jets’ rookie camp and was held over for main camp. ... He was the first Chinese defenseman drafted in the NHL.

Forwards

Tyson Dallman

Age: 18.
Hometown: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 175.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Listed in October 2010, signed Dec. 3, 2010.
Last season: In 36 games for the Prince Albert Mintos (midget AAA), he had 14 goals, 19 assists and 84 PIMs.
Did you know?: Started his WHL career with Calgary as the Hitmen drafted him in 2008 (6th round, 116th overall). Calgary dropped him last year, and Prince Albert invited him to camp last fall. Son of Rod Dallman, who won a Memorial Cup title in 1985 with the Prince Albert Raiders.

Olli Dickson

Age: 18.
Hometown: Penticton, British Columbia.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 185.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Invited to camp, listed in September.
Last season: In 42 games for the Kimberley Dynamiters (KIJHL), he had 5 goals, 9 assists and 365 PIMs. In 2 playoff games, he had 1 goal and just 4 PIMs.
Did you know?: Led the KIJHL in penalty minutes last year — edging Jacob Halder-man (the 2009-10 leader) by 28 minutes.

Justin Feser

Age: 19.
Hometown: Red Deer, Alberta.
Height: 5-9.
Weight: 190.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Ninth-round 2007 bantam draft pick (194th overall).
Last season: Played all 72 games, scoring 26 goals with 37 assists and a plus-22. In the playoffs, he had 4 goals and 5 assists in 10 games.
Did you know?: Led the team with 2 short-handed goals. ... His dad, Myron, coached him and Mitch Topping up until midgets. ... His younger brother Scott was drafted by the Red Deer Rebels in 2010 (8th round, 166th overall).

Justin Gutierrez

Age: 16.
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska.
Height: 6-2.
Weight: 170.
NHL draft: Eligible 2013.
How acquired: Listed in May, signed Aug. 30.
Last season: Played for the Alaska All-Stars U-16 team. In 39 games, he had 17 goals with 18 assists and 40 PIMs.
Did you know?: He is one of 11 children. He has five brothers and five sisters. Aaron, 27, is the oldest, while Sabrina, 10, is the youngest. Justin is the third youngest of the group. ... Older brother Moises played for Kamloops and Everett (2002-07).

Patrick Holland

Age: 19.
Hometown: Lethbridge, Alberta.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 175.
NHL draft: Taken in the 7th round (193rd overall) of the 2010 draft by the Calgary Flames.
How acquired: Sixth round of the 2007 bantam draft (125th overall).
Last season: Had 22 goals and 40 assists in 71 games. Had 4 goals and 4 assists in 10 playoff games. Did you know?: He attended Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp in August. ... He was held over for the Flames’ main camp.

Adam Hughesman

Age: 20.
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Height: 5-11.
Weight: 185.
NHL draft: Free agent.
How acquired: In the 2nd round of the 2006 bantam draft (28th overall).
Last season: In 60 games, he had a career-high 39 goals and 42 assists and a plus-20 rating. He missed 12 regular-season games and 2 playoff games with a knee injury. Had 4 goals and 4 assists in 8 playoff games.
Did you know?: Was third in the WHL with 20 power-play goals. ... Hughesman, Brendan Shinnimin and Mason Wilgosh all were cast and had small parts in the sequel to Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story. They were paid a minimum of $50 per day. Hughesman scored a goal in one scene, but he doesn’t know if they will use it. ... Ranks fourth all-time for Tri-City in playoff points with 34.

Jordan Messier

Age: 19.
Hometown: Canmore, Alberta.
Height: 6-2.
Weight: 195.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: 2007 second-round WHL draft pick (40th overall).
Last season: During the regular season, he had 26 goals — only 2 on the power play — and 20 assists in 58 games. He missed 14 games because of injuries. In the playoffs, he had 3 goals and 4 assists in 10 games.
Did you know?: Missed the preseason because of a mild concussion suffered in practice. ... Is an avid golfer with a 5 handicap. ... Is a devout Detroit Tigers fan. ... Ranks third all-time in franchise history in playoff goals with 13, tied with Mark Hurley and Chad Cabana.

Marcus Messier

Age: 17.
Hometown: Canmore, Alberta.
Height: 5-8.
Weight: 150.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: 2009 bantam draft (2nd round, 41st overall).
Last season: In his rookie season, he had 2 goals and 5 assists in 48 games.
Did you know?: Lived in Austria when he was 2, as his dad, Mitch, was playing for Klagenfurt AC. Mitch Messier played 20 NHL games — all for the Minnesota North Stars. During the 1987-88 season, Mitch played for North Stars coach Herb Brooks and with current Victoria Royals coach Marc Habscheid.

Lucas Nickles

Age: 17.
Hometown: Salmon Arm, British Columbia.
Height: 5-11.
Weight: 175.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Listed in July 2009; signed in February 2011.
Last season: He played 47 games for the Golden Rockets of the KIJHL, scoring 17 goals with 12 assists and 61 PIMs. He joined the Americans for 7 games during the season, recording 1 assist.
Did you know?: His dad, Jim Nickles, was Mr. Canada (bodybuilding) in the heavyweight division in 1992.

Connor Rankin

Age: 17.
Hometown: North Vancouver, British Columbia.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 185.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: First round of the 2009 bantam draft (7th overall).
Last season: Playing in 70 games, he had 19 goals and 25 assists.
Did you know?: Finished eighth in the WHL in rookie scoring last year. ... Was 1 goal shy of becoming the third Tri-City rookie to score 20 goals since 1996-97. ... Only Daymond Langkow (1995-96) had a better 16-year-old season (22 goals, 64 points) than Rankin in the last 16 years.

Brendan Shinnimin

Age: 20.
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Height: 5-10.
Weight: 175.
NHL draft: Free agent.
How acquired: Listed September 2006.
Last season: Played 60 games, scoring 34 goals with 62 assists. He finished tied for fifth in league scoring with a career high 96 points. Missed 12 games early in the season for a checking-from-behind penalty.
Did you know?: His assist total ranked fourth in the WHL last year. ... Was named to the WHL’s Western Conference second team last season. ... Was invited to the Phoenix Coyotes’ rookie camp and was sent to Portland (AHL).

Malte Strömwall

Age: 17.
Hometown: Luleá, Sweden.
Height: 5-11.
Weight: 175.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Taken in the 2011 CHL Import Draft (2nd round, 66th overall).
Last season: Split time between the Linkoping J18 of both the J18 Elit and J18 Allsvenskan leagues, where he played a combined 39 games with 17 goals and 13 assists.
Did you know?: He played for Team Sweden in August at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in the Czech Republic. Sweden lost to Canada 4-1 in the gold-medal game.

Lukas Walter

Age: 18.
Hometown: Langley, British Columbia.
Height: 6-0.
Weight: 190.
NHL draft: Eligible 2012.
How acquired: Picked up off waivers and listed in September.
Last season: Played for the North Delta Devils (Pacific International Junior Hockey League), scoring 1 goal with 8 assists and a team-high 188 penalty minutes in 38 games.
Did you know?: He played three preseason games for Portland before the Americans secured his rights.

Mason Wilgosh

Age: 20.
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Height: 5-8.
Weight: 170.
NHL draft: Free agent.
How acquired: Listed May 2006.
Last season: In 48 games, had a career-best 12 goals, 24 assists and a plus-19 rating. Missed the first 11 games of the season after taking a puck to the face in practice, and 11 games near the end with a knee injury.
Did you know?: He took online classes for a fire academy last season and spent two weeks during the summer at a fire academy in Crowley, Texas.

Brian Williams

Age: 16.
Hometown: Claremont, Calif.
Height: 5-7.
Weight: 160.
NHL draft: Eligible 2013.
How acquired: Eighth round of the 2010 bantam draft (173rd overall).
Last season: In 34 games for the LA Selects (midget U16), he had 15 goals and 19 assists. ... Along with Comrie, led the LA Selects to a semi-final berth in the 2011 National Championship Midget U16 Tournament. ... Attended the U.S. Select 15 Festival.
Did you know?: He played soccer until he was 9 years old, then took up hockey. He is the only member of his family to play hockey. ... Was the first native Californian drafted by Tri-City in the bantam draft since Jason Beeman (2001, 2nd round, 24th overall).

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