JOHNSTOWN – The Johnstown Tomahawks announced today the signing of four tenders (one defenseman, three forwards) for the 2016-17 NAHL season.
Caleb Ernst (forward), Mitchell Hale (forward), Jake Garman (forward) and Andrew Iehle (defenseman) have all signed a tender to play for the Tomahawks. All four are 1998 birth year players.
Ernst, a forward from Overland Park, Kan., currently plays for the Esmark Stars U18 program of the North American Prospects Hockey League. He was third in team scoring with 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 25 games.
“Caleb is a big, power forward-type player with big potential,” Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia said. “He is willing to battle for pucks and go to the net for scoring opportunities.”
A 6-1 forward, Hale is an Oakfield, NY native, registered six goals and seven assists in 32 games with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League.
“Hale is a forward who skates well and is very effective on the forecheck by getting to pucks first and making contact,” Letizia said. “He is very physical, uses his size well and protects the puck will in the offensive zone. Moreover, his offensive ability is very good.”
Garman is a 6-2 forward from Anchorage, Alaska who suited up for 13 games with the Corpus Christi IceRays of the NAHL and 11 games with the Sugar Land Imperials of the North American 3 Hockey League.
He earned five points (2 goals and three assists) in 11 games with the Imperials. Additionally, Garman was drafted by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the seventh round of the Western Hockey League Draft in 2013.
“Jake is a big, heavy winger who can skate well and has solid offensive instincts,” Tomahawks assistant coach Nick Shackford said. “He is very good on the forecheck and can chip in offensively as well.”
A native of Hatboro, Pa., Iehle defended the blue line for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers U18 program in the 2015-16 season. He scored four goals and chipped in six assists in 20 games for the Jr. Flyers.
“Andy has a high-end hockey IQ who anticipates the play very well and puts himself in good spots,” Shackford said. “He moves the puck well and has good habits defensively.”
In the NAHL, a tender is a contract a player signs announcing his intentions to play for one particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders – plus or minus any trades – which become active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft. Unless agreed upon in writing by the two NAHL teams, tendered or drafted players are not eligible to try out for other NAHL teams.
The Tomahawks return to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena Friday, May 6, for game three of the East Division Finals against the Aston Rebels. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. For tickets visit the War Memorial Box Office or call 1-800-745-3000.