June 22, 2012
Mavericks Re-Sign Smith and McCready, Add Forward LeBlanc
Missouri totals seven players signed for 2012-13 season
Independence, Missouri – The Missouri Mavericks announced Thursday the Central Hockey League (CHL) club has added three players to their 2012-13 roster. Defenseman Matt McCready and forward Brandon Smith each return to the Mavericks, and forward Derek LeBlanc has signed with the club. The Mavericks now have seven players under contract for the 2012-13 season.
“We are slowly piecing together our team for next year with the types of players that we believe can continue to make us better,” said Mavericks’ Head Coach Scott Hillman.
LeBlanc, 26 (3/31/86), most recently played in the ECHL with the Idaho Steelheads where he acquired 40 points on 20 goals and 20 assists in 63 games played, and he also played in 11 games with the Belfast Giants in the ELITE Ice Hockey League (EIHL). Prior to playing for Idaho last season, the Brandon, Manitoba native played his first three pro seasons with the CHL’s Rapid City Rush where he won the 2010 Presidents’ Cup Championship with fellow Mavericks signee Colt King. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound forward played in 171 games for the Rush over three seasons and had 130 points (70-60=130) and 167 penalty minutes. LeBlanc was also called up to the Manitoba Moose for 11 games during the 2009-10 season.
“Derek Leblanc was a force when we played Rapid City in the playoffs in our inaugural season,” remarked Hillman. “He played on a line with Colt King, and they pounded our defensemen. We hope to see that same style when we reunite these former teammates.”
McCready, 24 (7/1/87), made his professional debut with the Mavericks last season. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound defenseman from Kingsville, Ontario played in seven regular season games for the Mavericks and 11 post-season games. He finished with two goals, four assists and a +7 plus/minus rating combined in 18 games for Missouri. Prior to turning pro, McCready spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the London Knights, Sarnia Sting, Toronto St. Michael's Majors and Mississauga St. Michael's Majors from 2004-08. He then played four seasons collegiately at the University of Windsor, where he recorded 67 points (19-48=67) in 107 games.
“Matt McCready stepped in right before playoffs and was a major contributor. He plays extremely hard and can effectively run the power play,” said Hillman.
Smith, 25 (9/3/86), enters his third professional season and second with the Mavericks. The Pepper Pike, Ohio native joined the Mavericks in December of 2011 and played in 45 games after starting the season in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) with the Fayetteville FireAntz. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward had 18 points (7-11=18) with the Mavs during the regular season and five points on four goals and one assist in 11 games in the playoffs. Smith played his rookie season with the CHL’s Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and had 13 points on three goals and 10 assists in 55 games played. Prior to turning pro, Smith played at Miami University (Ohio) for two seasons.
“Brandon Smith is a heart and soul player that only cares about winning,” added Hillman. “He is a team first player that can play forward or defense, and he scored some huge goals for us in the playoffs.”
Missouri Mavericks 2012-13 season tickets are on sale now. Contact the Mavericks ticket staff Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at (816) 252-7825.