Panthers add high-scoring defenceman

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The UPEI Panthers have landed a two-way defenceman who played the past two seasons with the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Nelson Armstrong had nine goals and 36 assists for 45 points in 66 games to finish 12th in OHL defenceman scoring last season. It was the Peterborough native’s second season with the Petes.

“I just try to compete every shift and do whatever I can to help the team win,” said the six-foot-one, 205-pound rearguard. “I take great pride in the offensive part of my game, for sure, but you have to be responsible in your own end first. I just want to be a solid, all-around player.”

Coach Forbes MacPherson, entering his sixth season behind the UPEI bench, said he was working all spring to recruit Armstrong.

“Nelson brings so much to the table with his offence and with his desire to compete every night,” MacPherson said. “It became apparent to me early on that he was just meant to be a Panther because of the way he goes about his business, and how he carries himself on and off the ice. Nelson Armstrong is going to be a great addition to our program.”

Armstrong, 20, started his career with St. Lawrence University in the NCAA and still has three years of university eligibility remaining. He says he has remained committed to pursuing his education and determined the UPEI was a perfect fit for the next step in his journey. He also played a season in Peterborough with UPEI forward Nick Czinder.

“The team is very good. The league is the top league in the country and I feel I will continue to develop as a hockey player while I work on my education,” said Armstrong, who will be enrolling in the bachelor of business administration program.

The Panthers consistently ranked in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) top-10 last year, reaching as high as fourth.

UPEI has already announced the additions of goalie Connor Wilkinson, as well as Islanders Darcy Ashley and Brent Andrews. Not returning this season will be goalie Wayne Savage, defencemen Matt Maione and Alex Wall as well as forwards Dana Fraser and Jordan Mayer.

Organizations: Ontario Hockey League, St. Lawrence University, NCAA

Geographic location: Peterborough

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