David Maciuk has his first player commitment as director of hockey operations for the Batchewana Attack of the new Canadian International Hockey League.
Maciuk has confirmed that 1997 birth-year forward Jacob Palmerio has signed up to play for Batchewana, which recently became the seventh member of the CIHL and will play out of Rankin Arena in Sault Ste. Marie effective the 2014-2015 season.
The 5-foot-9, 165 pound Palmerio had 12 goals, 10 assists, 22 points in 28 games with the Nickel City Sons of the Great North Midget Hockey League in 2013-2014 and was named to Team NOHA that participated in the OHA Cup provincial tournament.
A Sault Ste. Marie native, the speedy Palmerio spent the 2012-2013 campaign with the Soo Thunder minor midgets before moving up to Nickel City and the major midget GNMHL in 2013-2014.
“Jacob has the work ethic and character we want to build our team around,” said Maciuk, who is a major investor in the Attack and will serve as its president as well as director of hockey operations.
“The more the younger players accomplish the more attention they will attract from higher-level teams and leagues and that will help all of our players,” added Maciuk, a Sault Ste. Marie product who played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Soo Greyhounds during the 1973-1974 season before moving to Chicago where he was a high-scoring forward at the minor-pro level for a number of years.
Maciuk said he expects to sign several more area players within the days ahead.
Meanwhile, after a season of minor midget and another at the major midget level, Palmerio is anxious for the opportunity to move up to junior and be a part of the Batchewana entry in the new CIHL.
“It’s pretty exciting to be a part of this and I am glad to get this opportunity to play for the Batchewana Attack,” said Palmerio.
“For sure, I am ready to move up to junior and I believe I will get a lot of exposure playing in the CIHL,” added Palmerio, a hard-working youngster whose bloodlines come from his Italian father and Croatian mother.
As was first reported by HockeyNewsNorth.com on Saturday, Batchewana joins the Espanola Rivermen, St. Charles Spirit, Central Ontario HTI Stars, Colborne Cramahe Hawks, Milton Battle Arts Cobras and Collingwood Ice as members of the Ontario-based CIHL, which is sanctioned by the United Hockey Union under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union.
CIHL president and founder Tim Clayden said he expects the new league will announce a fourth team from Northern Ontario within the week — one that will geographically align with Batchewana, Espanola and St. Charles.