The recent acquisition of Mario Culina off waivers from the Windsor Spitfires means the Sudbury Wolves now have four overage players, not to mention three goalies.
Culina, injured defenseman Kyle Rhodes and active blue liner Doug Blaisdell and forward Troy Lajeunesse make up the Sudbury overage crew.
Ontario Hockey League teams can carry four overage players until mid January but can only dress three at a time. That won’t be an issue for the Wolves for the time being with Rhodes out with an injury for about another month or so.
Culina, meanwhile, is expected to make his Wolves debut at some point this week. The Wolves are on the road to play the Soo Greyhounds tonight before home contests against the Peterborough Petes and Kitchener Rangers on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.
A Sault Ste. Marie native and former Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championship goalie with the Soo Thunderbirds before signing with the OHL Spitfires as a free agent in 2015, Culina began the 2017-2018 campaign with the Ryerson Rams of Ontario University Athletics before opting to join the Wolves earlier this week.
“I just feel that is a good fit for me, coming to Sudbury,” Culina told HockeyNewsNorth.com. “I hope to play pro next season and this is a good opportunity for me to try to get there.”
As he is one of four overagers on the Wolves roster, Culina is also one of three goalies. Holdover starter Jake McGrath and rookie Marshall Frappier are the others.
The Wolves have a record of 7-14-4 to date and have the second-worst goals against average in the OHL.
Culina brings a good OHL record to Sudbury from his time in Windsor as a backup to Michael DiPietro.
Over two OHL seasons as the understudy to DiPietro in Windsor, Culina produced an overall record of 23-13-2 with a 2.79 goals against average and .901 save percentage.
PHOTO: Mario Culina, in action while with the Windsor Spitfires.