ANTIGONISH, NS – StFX X-Men hockey head coach Brad Peddle is pleased to announce that Jason Bast and Derek Claffey, both Western Hockey League (WHL) captains, will be joining the X-Men hockey program for the 2010-11 season.
“We are very excited to be adding both Jason and Derek to the X-Men program,” comments Coach Peddle. “They are top recruits out of the West and come from two very good WHL programs. They are both high character captains of their respective WHL clubs and they will be outstanding additions to our team.”
Jason Bast is a 5’10” centerman who played with the Moose Jaw Warriors for the past five years, earning numerous accolades throughout his career. Most recently he was named the WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player. Known for being a class act on and off the ice, the Moose Jaw native accumulated only 118 penalty minutes over the past five years. A captain with the Warriors and Fans Choice Award winner, Bast became the first Warrior ever to be named team Most Valuable Player on three occasions. He is also first on the Moose Jaw all-time list for games played with 331 in his career, including a streak of 228 games played. Jason tallied 64 points (33 goals, 31 assists) in 60 regular season games this past year, along with 10 playoff points in 7 games played.
“Jason is a very good player, a dynamic forward who will make an immediate impact to our offense and is capable of playing in any situation,” says Peddle. “He is very strong in both ends of the rink, is a well respected leader and a player who competes extremely hard both on and off the ice.”
Says Bast upon his decision to choose StFX, “I visited a few schools and was having a real hard time on my decision until I visited StFX. Everybody there treated me so well and I realized I would be more comfortable with my transition to school in a small town setting. As soon I came to Antigonish it felt like home, after growing up in small town in Saskatchewan. I am excited to join a solid team that had a good season and playoffs last year and am looking forward to helping contribute to another good year.”
Derek Claffey is a 6’1” defenseman who played with the Swift Current Broncos for the past four seasons. A native of Red Deer, AB, this two-time team captain earned honors as the 2009-10 Top Defenseman with the Broncos and was also voted the Players Most Popular Player. In 63 regular season games played, Claffey led all Swift Current defensemen in scoring with 29 points (7 goals, 22 assists) in 63 regular season games played.
“Derek is a very solid dependable defenseman, a strong competitor who was regularly matched up against the opposing teams’ best players in the WHL,” commented Peddle. “He is very good in his own end, has really good mobility and moves the puck well. He is a very popular player, a strong leader and will be a great addition to our blue line.”
“I am very happy to be joining the hockey program at StFX,” says Claffey. “They are a very talented team and a great group of guys. I look forward to coming in and helping to work towards winning a championship.”
The 2009-10 X-Men earned an 11-12-5 record and a fifth place finish in the AUS, before advancing to knock off the CIS ranked No. 1 UNB Varsity Reds 3-0 in the AUS semi-finals. They lost out to the eventual CIS champion Saint Mary’s Huskies in the AUS final round. The X-Men will begin their 2010-11 campaign with exhibition play in late September, while AUS regular season play opens on the weekend of Oct. 15-16.