Three Fernie hockey players recently signed to play for the Great Falls Americans in the upcoming 2020-2021 hockey season. Based out of Great Falls, Montana, the Americans are a Junior A Tier III hockey club competing in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), with players aged 16 to 20.
Having played for The Fernie Academy Fury this past season, all three local players signed tender agreements solidifying their commitment to the Americans, should they play in the NA3HL next season.
Sante Canderan is one of the players who recently signed to the Americans. Originally from Blairmore, Alberta, Canderan scored a total of 17 points in 33 games this past year, positioning him as a highly skilled and sought after forward. Greg Sears, head coach of the Great Falls Americans, strongly believes Canderan’s speed will make him a future asset for their team, while transitioning him well into the NA3HL.
Also having signed a tender agreement with the Americans for the 2020-2021 season is Lyndon Ewen. Originally from Coleman, Alberta, he played a wicked 34 games for The Fernie Academy Fury this past season. At six feet and three inches tall and weighing 210 pounds, Sears hopes Ewen will add size to their defensive core, seeing that the Americans otherwise lost five defenders to college last year.
Last to sign a tender agreement was Dawson Hutchinson, a six feet and two inches tall and 165 pound Fernie local. A strong forward, Hutchinson was selected to help the Americans with his skilled skating and sought after size.
“We are really excited about The Fernie Academy boys. The Fernie Academy plays in the NAPHL prep division of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), so these guys know what it takes to compete at the highest level. All three guys are a solid addition to our program,” said Sears.
The Fernie Academy Fury are a member of the North American Prospect Hockey League, and thus are tied to the Americans under the NAHL. According to Sears, The Fernie Academy is recognized for their top level programming and training of high level skilled athletes. Given their experience, Sears looks forward to the potential each player holds.
“We feel pretty good about the upcoming season. With the three Fernie boys, we also tendered 14 others from eight different states across the United States. We were on a roll, winning nine in a row last season, when the virus ended our season. We finished 36-9-6. Our returners are hungry, and there is a sense of unfinished business. These guys will jump right in and contribute to the common goal of developing hockey players and winning games,” said Sears.
As it stands, Sears claims that the COVID-19 pandemic has not greatly affected the team’s off season schedule, as their players have maintained individual work out programs despite restrictions and closures.