Friday, January 1, 2016

V-Reds Add Forward

According to Bill Hunt of the Daily Gleaner (subscription required), the Varsity Reds have bolstered their line-up with the addition of left winger Christopher Clapperton. Clapperton had been released from his contract with the AHL's Toronto Marlies earlier this week after spending the first half of the season with their ECHL affiliate in Orlando. He is expected to be in the line-up this weekend when UNB hosts the Concordia Stingers for a pair of games at the AUC.

Clapperton, a 5'9", 174 pound native of Chandler, Quebec, was a 5th round pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2013 NHL draft. He played four seasons in the QMJHL, including the first three with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada where he was a teammate of current UNB goaltender Etienne Marcoux. He played his final year with the Rimouski Oceanic, helping lead them to a Memorial Cup appearance last year. Overall, Clapperton posted 270 points (113 goals, 157 assists) in 237 regular season games and added another 70 points (26 goals, 44 assists) in 62 playoff games during his junior career. He also had 2 goals and an assist in 4 Memorial Cup games.

According to Hockey's Future:
Clapperton is a goal-scoring winger who relies on good hockey sense and hard work to generate opportunities. He is smaller than most NHL players, and lacks substantial footspeed, but he has the kind of determination to score that coaches and scouts like to see. 
Further, McKeen's Hockey had this to say prior to the Memorial Cup:
Arguably the Oceanic’s most valuable forward, Florida prospect Christopher Clapperton is an industrious winger with a scorer's touch as evident by his 139 QMJHL goals over 299 career games. The 1.14 point-per-game Q forward plays in all situations and will be a vital part of Rimouski’s MemCup success.
The addition of Clapperton is an interesting one for UNB given that they also have forwards Cam Braes and Mike Thomas returning for the 2nd half. This move now gets them to the roster cap of 22 skaters - 16 forwards and only 6 defenceman (including Marcus McIvor, who has been rehabbing a leg injury). Although it probably isn't an ideal ratio it is likely that there weren't any good defencemen available and you can't pass up the opportunity to add a player with Clapperton's resume. It will be interesting to see how Gardiner MacDougall and the rest of the coaching staff assemble the line-up and make all of the pieces fit. It should certainly make for an exciting finish to the season.