Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has signed three incoming rookie skaters, president and head coach Jason Rapcewicz has confirmed to Hockey News North.
Among the new additions to the Espanola lineup are a pair of northern Ontario products from nearby Sudbury.
• The Express has inked 2004 birth year forwards Brayden LaFrance and Ryan Rubic from the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League.
LaFrance is an aggressive forward with a nice scoring touch and a son of former Ontario Hockey League scoring star Darryl LaFrance. Over four seasons with the Oshawa Generals from 1991 to 1995, the elder LaFrance lit up OHL goalies by scoring 162 goals.
Rubic has good size and also plays an aggressive game. He also has hockey bloodlines from his father, Robin Rubic, who played in the OHL from 1984 to 1987 as a hard-nosed winger who suited up for the Kitchener Rangers, Toronto Marlboros, Sudbury Wolves and Soo Greyhounds.
• Also signing with Espanola is 2005 birth year defenseman Owen Harris. Harris heads to the Express from the under 18 Brantford 99ers.
• Meanwhile, the Express has traded 2003 birth year forward Bradley Brunet to the new Haliburton County Huskies of the Ontario Jr. Hockey League. Brunet, who played two seasons for Espanola, had requested a trade to the OJHL.