Recruits key to success: coach

JASON HILLS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

Eric Thurston hopes his four off-season recruits are pieces to a National Championship puzzle.

Defenceman Jason Fransoo and forwards Kyle Pess, Eric Hunter and Derek Ryan all bring different attributes to the table, but one thing they have in common is their strong leadership qualities.

Fransoo wore the "C" with the Everett Silvertips as did Hunter with the Prince George Cougars and Ryan with the Spokane Chiefs.

Pess never wore a letter with the AJHL's Fort Saskatchewan Traders, but he was their distinguished leader.

"Jason Fransoo is a player that we'll rely on heavily. He was a captain in Everett and he'll be a big addition to our power-play," added Thurston.

"Hunter is a former goal 40-goal scorer that has the skill but he plays with some grit.

"Pess and Ryan bring a different dimension to our team with their speed and I think that is one area we lacked last year," said Thurston.

After four years in the WHL with Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Seattle the Red Deer native is excited to be part of the Bears program.

"It's going to be a different role for me for sure, I'll be a bit more of a role player than a scorer, but I welcome the challenge and I'll be definitely pushing guys hard in practice," said Pess yesterday, before the Bears began practice.

Fransoo is in a little different situation.

With an off-season injury to defenceman Kyle Fecho, the former Silvertip is going to be pushed into a big role with the Bears.

"There is going to be some ice-time there to be taken and I want to take advantage of it," said Fransoo.

"I consider myself an all around player and whatever role they want me to play, I am ready."


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