Manson family influence

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

Hearkening back to his NHL playing days, Calgary Hitmen co-coach Dean Evason remembers going against Dave 'Charlie' Manson.

So it's no surprise Manson's nephew and newest Hitmen blueliner, Dylan Yeo, reminds Evason of the former NHL defenceman, albeit a bit of a gentler version.

"Dave was a stay-at-home, steady guy that brought a physical presence and wasn't afraid to drop his gloves and I think Dylan's the same type of guy but he hasn't fought here," said Evason.

"Dylan's a steady guy that competes hard and that type of defenceman is always coveted in every league."

Yeo, 18, was acquired at the trade deadline, along with goaltender Justin Pogge and forward Tyrel Lucas, from the Prince George Cougars, who are in Calgary tonight (Saddledome, 7 p.m.).

Like Manson, who played 20 NHL seasons with Chicago, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal, Yeo was born in Prince Albert and honed his hockey skills in Saskatchewan.

And you better believe the 5-ft. 11-in., 206-pounder got some pointers from his uncle, who is now an assistant coach with the Prince Albert Raiders.

"I've watched him play hockey since I was a little kid, on television and in the stands. He's been a big influence on my life and taught me a lot, just with the way he plays and skates and does what he does," said Yeo, who is still looking for his first point since joining the Hitmen.

Some hockey fans in Calgary will remember Yeo from the 2002-03 Mac's Midget AAA Tournament.

That year, he suited up with the Prince Albert Mintos, who battled their way into the final before losing 4-3 against Team Illinois.

Yeo, whose younger brother Theran is a rookie rearguard with the Brandon Wheat Kings, also made the tournament's first all-star team and was named top defenceman.

Yeo's played in the 'Dome on several occasions before the trade, so he's familiar with the saddle-shaped arena but he said it takes some getting used to after playing in the lower altitude Prince George Multiplex.

"Right now it's kind of hard. The atmosphere's different than it was in Prince George and it's a lot hotter, so I'm finding it a little harder to breathe. It's just something I've got to get used to," said Yeo, who has two goals and three assists this season and is plus-1 with Calgary.

One thing about Yeo is he's sturdy as an oak tree and more than a few opponents have lined him up in their sights for a big hit only to find themselves sprawled out on the ice.

"I just try and stand tall and be the biggest I can on the ice."

No doubt that's something he learned from Uncle Dave.


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