(FREDERICTON, NB) Rylan Parenteau is trading west for east.
After finishing a solid major junior career with the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans, the goaltender has signed a U SPORTS Letter of Intent and will join the two-time, defending national men’s hockey champion UNB Varsity Reds beginning in the 2017-18 season.
“I’m honoured to join such a rich culture of winning,” says Parenteau. “This move will allow me to develop as both a hockey player and a person.”
A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Parenteau spent parts of five seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders, posting a regular season record of 44 wins and 38 losses, before being traded to Tri-City, where he went 25-and-14.
“I consider myself an athletic goaltender,” he says. “I take pride in continually looking to improve my game.”
“Rylan will be a key addition, both on and off the ice,” says Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “His pedigree and work ethic are something we love.”
The last WHL goaltender to attend and play hockey at UNB was former Kelowna Rocket Derek Yeomans, who won two national championships with the Varsity Reds.
MacDougall says Parenteau has been recruited for his academic abilities as much as his athletic abilities.
“Rylan is an exceptional student,” he says. “He had a 90%-plus average coming out of high school and has been accepted in UNB’s Geological Engineering program.”
In 2015-16, with Prince Albert, Parenteau was named a 2nd Team WHL All-Star. He also received numerous year-end team awards, including the Humanitarian Award, Best Conditioned Award, Player Choice Award, and Co-MVP Award.
In 2016, he was invited to the Vancouver Canucks’ summer development camp.
“Coming from the west is a big commitment and we’re excited to have him in our line-up,” says Coach MacDougall.
Parenteau will team with third-year returning netminder Alex Dubeau to form UNB’s goaltending tandem. Last season, Dubeau and University Cup Tournament All-Star Etienne Marcoux combined to post the lowest goals against average in U SPORTS. The Varsity Reds have recorded the lowest goals against average in Atlantic University Sport in the last four seasons.
Parenteau joins the Varsity Reds’ 2017 recruiting class that includes defencemen Olivier LeBlanc and Tristan Pomerleau, and forwards Ty Boland, Hayden Hodgson and Kris Bennett.
The Varsity Reds open the 2017-18 regular season on Wednesday, October 4, when they host the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus.
UNB will raise the 2017 U SPORTS championship banner that night, the seventh national championship banner to be hoisted to the Aitken Centre rafters.