Thursday, January 8, 2015

AUS Veteran Fraser Joins V-Reds

In today's Daily Gleaner Bruce Hallihan confirms that former UPEI Panthers centre Dana Fraser has joined the Varsity Reds and is expected to be in the line-up for Friday night's game against his former team.

Fraser, a 5'11'', 185 pound native of Truro, Nova Scotia signed with Evansville of the ECHL over the summer after a four year stint at UPEI, but never suited up for the team due to a high ankle sprain. He decided to continue pursuing his education and will be enrolled in grad studies while using up his 5th, and final, year of eligibility.

During his four years as a Panther Fraser had 68 points (26 goals, 42 assists) in 95 games, including 48 points in 49 games over the last two seasons.

Obviously adding a proven point per game player like Fraser will only help, but it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff will fit him into the line-up, especially given how well all four lines were playing during the latter part of the first half and the two games against Windsor. Every trio (Maillet/Halley/Carroll, Braes/Boudens/Brace, Trainor/Critchlow/Willick, MacDougall/Beauvillier/Mignardi) has been very productive recently, not to mention the fact that Chris Caissy is healthy again after missing a large part of the first half and looked good in the two exhibition games. Of course, injuries usually have a way of making everything work out and both Cam Braes and Matt Boudens did sit out the 2nd game against Windsor, so perhaps they are a bit banged up and need some extra time to heal.

Although the AUS roster cap has prevented the V-Reds from carrying as many forwards as we have seen in past years, one could argue that this year's crop is the best they have had top to bottom, with any forward being capable of scoring at any time. The addition of Fraser only strengthens that depth and should help make for a great finish to the season with UNB, Acadia, and Saint Mary's all battling for the top spot.