A busy few weeks for Rhinos Coach Cory Herman has culminated with the acquisition of an offensive defenseman and two of the best forwards on the Gulls’ roster Kalvis Ozols, Eric Baldwin, and Drew Depalma are headed to the Lone Star State while Halen Sampson, Trey Hughes, and Adrian Schmidt move out to California.
Gulls forward Baldwin leads the team with 59 points and Depalma, another forward, is a close second with 52 points. Among top scorers in the league, Eric is currently tied for sixth while Drew is tied for fifteenth. Kalvis Ozols, a 6’8 defenseman from Latvia, has 24 points in only 21 games for San Diego.
Although they didn’t have much time to prepare for the trek to El Paso, the bunch is still eager to get going. “We’ve heard [there is] a really good fan base. We’re looking forward to Texas culture and a good experience,” Baldwin says. On the hockey side, Drew describes the opportunities. “We have the chance to get stronger and play with a team that’s going to playoffs. We want to go nationals since we’re aging out.”
Still out on the road, their arrival in El Paso will mean many changes. They will be forced to delve right in to the competitive nature of the Rhinos and their opponents. However, even with a long drive ahead of them, the trio isn’t worried. “We’re making it a fun one.”