The UPEI Panthers men’s hockey team has added two familiar names to its roster for the upcoming Atlantic University Sport season.
UPEI head coach Forbie MacPherson announced this week that Islanders Randy Cameron and Matt Boyle have committed to the program.
“When our coaching staff began to compile a list of possible recruits for the upcoming season, Matt and Randy were immediately placed at the top of our list,” said MacPherson. “These two players were a priority for us and we are very excited that they have decided to commit to UPEI.”
Cameron, son of Dave and Miriam Cameron of Clyde River, finished last season with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on a high.
The five-foot-11, 190-pound centre had a career-best 68 points, including 24 goals, and added another 21 points in the playoffs, helping lead Moncton to the league title over the Saint John Sea Dogs.
During his four years with the Wildcats, the 2007 fifth-round NHL draft choice of the Detroit Red Wings (148th overall) scored 197 points (72-125).
“I was talking with a bunch of schools and UPEI came after me really hard,” Cameron said. “It is nice to be wanted and they wanted me the most of all the schools that talked to me. I got a good feeling from Forbie that the team is heading in the right direction and looks to challenge for a championship.
“I won a championship with Moncton and it would be great to win another championship at UPEI.”
MacPherson said Cameron is a top-six forward that will make an immediate impact for the Panthers.
“He was one of the most sought-after recruits in our conference. Of all of his strengths and qualities as a player, the one intangible that attracted us to Randy, is that he is a winner. Winning is contagious, and we expect Randy to bring that to our program.”
Matt Boyle, the son of Geoff and Diane Boyle of West Royalty, played last year with the Lewiston Maineiacs of the QMJHL.
He also played six play-off games for the Texas Brahmas of the Central Hockey League.
The six-foot, 205-pound defenceman spent the three previous seasons with the Wildcats, playing alongside Cameron and UPEI goaltender Jhase Sniderman.
“I starting talking with Forbie in the winter about coming to play at UPEI and I thought it would be a good move because I wanted to play in front of family on a regular basis,” said Boyle. “The hockey program at UPEI has made a big jump recently and has become a contender in the AUS, and it looks like it will be a strong contender this year. That made my choice to play at home easier.”
MacPherson said Boyle epitomizes exactly what he coaching staff is looking for in any potential UPEI player.
“Matt is dedicated, hard working and intense. He is a complete defenceman who will be very tough to play against. Matt has some offensive upside, but will be relied on to be a shutdown guy and compete against other teams’ top lines.”
Boyle, who hopes to become an accountant, played against Panther Mike McIssac in minor hockey and in the QMJHL, where he also played against forward Chad Locke and defenceman Dylan Quaile.