winterhawks fullThe Saugeen Shores Winterhawks have announced the first wave of roster signings ahead of the 2015/16 WOAA Sr. AA Hockey League season.

Captain Greg Thede will lead the Winterhawks again this season, returning for this ninth season as captain. He's joined by a list of returning players that includes 2014/15 league scoring champion, Bryan Kazarian.

Also re-signing with the Winterhawks are forwards Curtis Johnston, Andy Fracz, Blake Underwood, Brent MacDermid, Trent Hawke and Dave Grant, along with defencemen Kyle Roulston, Nick Quaid, Trevor Smith and Jacob Brown and goaltender Mitch Roulston.

The Winterhawks can also confirm the signing of six new players to the roster, forwards Alex Penner, Jay Thomson and Dylan Weltz, defencemen Brett Brophy and Mike Smailes and goaltender Josh Sturrock.

Penner, 29, is a native of Simcoe, and comes to the Winterhawks with an extensive hockey background. The 6'4", 227-pound forward played for the OHL's Guelph Storm and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds before a professional career in the AHL, ECHL, CHL (Central Hockey League) and in England. Penner has played the past two seasons for Jonquiere of Quebec's LNAH.

Thomson, 22, is a former captain of the Jr. C Walkerton Hawks. The Chesley native played five seasons in Walkerton, where he won four league championships while scoring 137 points in 159 games.

Weltz, 25, is a native of Hanover and played four seasons of junior hockey. The 6'2", 210-pound winger suited up for Mount Forest, Wingham and Hanover between 2007 and 2011.

Brophy, 21, spent five seasons with the Wingham Ironmen of Western Jr. C., including serving as captain in 2014/15 when he scored 44 points in 36 games from the blueline. Brophy was Western Jr. C leading scorer among defencemen twice and helped lead Wingham to a league championship in 2013/14.

Smailes, 22, spent six seasons with the Jr. C Kincardine Bulldogs. The native of Dobbinton put up 48 points in 181 career games with Kincardine and served as captain of the Bulldogs in 2014/15.

Sturrock, 30, brings extensive experience to the Winterhawks net. The native of Dundalk played two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sudbury Wolves and Owen Sound Attack. Sturrock also played four seasons of Jr. A hockey before spending two seasons with the Durham Thundercats of the WOAA.

The Winterhawks begin their season on Saturday, October 10th at 7:30 p.m. when the Shallow Lake Crushers visit The Plex in Port Elgin.