Thursday, May 31, 2018

V-Reds Add Pair From WHL

The defending AUS Champion University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds have gone out west for their first two recruits of the summer and they are big ones, announcing top recruits Mark Rassell and Joe Gatenby have signed Letters of Intent for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. They should both prove to be solid additions to what will no doubt be an impressive group of returning players.

A native of Calgary, Alberta, Rassell comes to UNB after spending his entire four year WHL career with the Medicine Hat Tigers, serving as the team captain last season.

The 6'1", 185 pound centre improved in each of his junior seasons, culminating in a breakout 50 goal, 30 assist campaign this past season. He added 8 goals and 5 assists in just 6 playoff contests. For his efforts he was named co-team MVP and earned awards for his community service and leadership.

Overall, Rassell accumulated regular season totals of 103 goals and 78 assists in 274 games and chipped in another 15 goals and 5 assists in 23 postseason games.

Rassell is no stranger to UNB as his grandfather attended the school and both of his parents earned their Masters degree at UNBSJ.

For more information on the V-Reds newest forward, Ryan McCracken had a nice article in the Medicine Hat News today where he talks with Rassell about his future and his decision to choose UNB.

Defenceman Joe Gatenby joins the Varsity Reds after playing his five year junior career with the Kelowna Rockets and Kamloops Blazers. He was an alternate captain his last three seasons.

Like Rassell, the 6', 190 pound native of Kelown, BC increased his production each season in the WHL. Last season he put up 13 goals, and 46 assists in 72 games and contributed 25 goals and 116 assists over his 317 game career. He added 5 points in 58 playoff games and a single assist during the 2015 Memorial Cup when his Rockets made it to the final only to fall in OT.

After his junior career ended in the spring Gatenby suited up for 10 regular season and playoff games with the ECHL's Atlanta Gladiators, adding 7 points.

Rassell and Gatenby are the first forward and defenceman UNB has recruited out of the WHL since Dylan Willick (2013) and Ben Wright (2009), respectively. They join the previously announced Patrick Watling as new recruits for next season as the V-Reds look to replace the departing Mike Thomas, Chris Caissy, Dylan Willick, Trey Lewis, and Colin Suellentrop.

Both are expected to study business while at UNB.