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01/27/2014 10:40 AM -
Just last week, the Rhinos acquired defenseman Chandler Bruyckere after the release of forwards Fabien Dube, Simon Bellemore and Lucas Dickison.
Bruyckere, an 18 year old from Parksville, a small city on Vacouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, is preparing to contribute to the best team in the Midwest Division of the WSHL. Describing himself as a “reliable” defenseman who is “always the first guy back into our zone,” Chandler admits that he has offensive capabilities as well. “I have a good shot when I get the opportunity to use it.” His stats concur.
During the 2012-2013 season with the Oceanside Generals of the VIJHL, Bruyckere tallied 3 goals and 12 assists. The 2013-2014 season got off to a good start as he earned 6 points in 12 games. However, the Generals struggled to post wins.
After having seen only six victories, Chandler decided to make the trek to El Paso. “From what I’ve heard and what I've seen, the Rhinos are a very well organized team and organization and it seemed like a no brainer to me.” The young defenseman also ventured to the Sun City with thoughts of his future: “Because the season is a month longer down here, I’ll have more time on the ice to get ready for camp next year.”
Despite his eagerness to represent the Rhinos, Chandler has noticed changes between his hometown farm alongside the ocean and the warm, sunny desert of the Southwest. “Coming from sea level to the altitude here, I have been a little run down the first couple days here but I'm starting to adapt to things. And the guys have also made me feel a part of the team right away too which always helps.”