Courtesy of Beth Parrish
Santa Clarita, Calif – While the major news out of the offseason is the WSHL’s move to Tier II hockey, the Valencia Flyers have made some news of their own with three of their veteran defenseman re-committing to the team for the 2105-16 season.
Defenseman Nik Giers, Bas Assaf and Chase Thesman will all roam the blue-line for the Flyers once again this season providing the team with the veteran defensive presence that is required to compete in the WSHL.
“Having three veteran defenseman who know what it takes to succeed as a Flyer right out of the gate gives us a huge advantage at this time” according to Flyers Head Coach Josh Berge. “Having a solid defensive core is a critical component to having a successful season and allows us to be more flexible in building the rest of the defense. I am excited to have all three of these guys back as they are not only quality players on and off the off ice, but quality character guys that I will be counting on to this year”.
Giers tied for second in the WSHL in points for defenseman last season, netting 14 goals and 33 assists in 44 games for the Flyers.
Over two seasons with Valencia Giers has been a consistent offensive producer, totaling 24 goals and 53 assists in 90 career games.
Assaf is quite the opposite of Giers, totaling just 21 points in 82 career games, but his contribution comes off the score-sheet.
Assaf has shown himself to be one of the most prolific shot blockers in the WSHL, a stat that is unfortunately not kept by the league. He has also become one of the Flyers best penalty killers often seeing time on the number one unit.
Thesman is the most well rounded of the three, providing solid two way help for the Flyers.
In his second season with the team Thesman split time as a forward and defenseman, totaling 11 goals and 23 assists in 39 games.
He was regularly paired with Evan Johnson last season making up the top forward unit for the penalty kill while also spending time on the second power play unit on defense.
All three are expected to help once again solidify the defense and help the Flyers challenge for their first division title.