First it was Grant Syrette. Now it is Jeremy Solomon.
In the space of two days this week, Syrette and Solomon have both confirmed that they are leaving the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to sign with the Batchewana Attack of the new Canadian International Hockey League.
Both players are 1994 birth-year skaters who hail from Garden River First Nation.
Syrette is a big, strong, 6-foot-1, 215 pound left winger and Solomon is a slender, 6-foot-2, 180 pound defenceman.
Syrette played 62 games in the Ontario Hockey League for the Mississauga Steelheads before returning home to the Soo to play in the NOJHL with the Thunderbirds in 2013.
Batchewana general manager Dennis Bolton said Attack bench boss Denny Lambert — the former Soo Greyhounds player and coach who skated in more than 500 games in the National Hockey League — played a major role in getting Syrette and Solomon to commit to the Attack.
“Denny was instrumental in acquiring Grant who no doubt will enjoy playing out of Rankin Arena,” said Bolton. “Grant is one tough player who undoubtedly will benefit from Denny’s expertise and coaching style.”
As for Solomon, Bolton said the veteran blueliner “will add solid depth to our defensive zone. His physical style of play will no doubt make him a favourite at Rankin Arena.”
Over three NOJHL campaigns with the Thunderbirds, Solomon played in 159 games, regular-season and playoffs included.
ABOUT THE CIHL
The junior-level, Ontario-based CIHL will begin its inaugural season in October with eight teams — four in the North Division and four in the South Division.
Batchewana, the Espanola Rivermen, Sudbury Royals and St. Charles Spirit will make up the North Division while the South Division will be comprised of the Colborne Cramahe Hawks, Collingwood Ice, Milton Battle Arts Cobras and Toronto Junior Hockey Academy.