Essa reloading, brings back Muir, Bakowski, adds pair of Swedes

by Matt Mackinder

The 2017-18 CPJHL champion Essa Stallions have begun to reload for the 2018-19 season.

First, the Stallions announced the resigning of defenceman Samuel Muir. 

The 6-foot, 190-pounder from La Tuque, PQ will don the #44 jersey again, patrolling the blue line for the Stallions.

"We're very excited to have Sam back. We expect him to provide leadership for us, be a big shutdown guy, and bring it on and off the ice. We're not sure of the makeup of the team yet, but Sam will be a leader for us," said Stallions assistant coach and GM David Lang. 

In 38 games last season, Muir (pictured) recorded 14 assists, and 14 PIM.

"Sam is a steady D-man, with whom we are going to be expecting a lot of this coming season. I'd like to see him get a little stronger, build a little more speed, and find a little more offense to contribute. If he does that, the sky is the limit for Sam," added Essa head coach and director of hockey operations Sylvain Cloutier.


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The Stallions have announce the re-signing of defenceman Mitchell Bakowski. 

The 6-foot-1, 193-pound Innisfil, Ont., native will make his return to Essa for his second year of junior hockey.

"Mitch came to us last year rather raw, to be honest. Hadn't played very competitive hockey, and I'm sure he'd admit it showed. But the amount of work this kid put in, the strides in his growth both on and off the ice, and improvement he made, no one on our squad even comes close. We are so lucky to have this kid back, to help him in his journey. He's only going to get better, and we're happy he's decided to do that with us ," said Essa head coach and director of hockey operations Sylvain Cloutier.

"I'm sure if we asked Mitch to run through a brick wall for us, he would. He may talk to us about it after he did it, but Mitch is a no-questions, do-anything for the team or teammate kind of guy. We're excited to have him back, and I'm expecting him to have a good summer and get back to us and be a big part of our top six," added Stallions assistant coach and GM David Lang.

Last season, Bakowski amassed one goal and four assists for five points in 17 games.


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Luck of the Swedish? The Essa Stallions sure hope so!

The Stallions have announce the signings of defenceman Rasmus Asplund and forward Alex Wahlstrom.

Asplund, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound defender, comes to Essa from the highest level of junior hockey in Sweden. 

"He's a right-handed, hard-working, high-compete, physical defender," Essa head coach and director of hockey operations Sylvain Cloutier said. "He sees the game very well, has a good shot and good hands. A player of his all-around skills is exactly what we need heading into next year."

Wahlstrom, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound winger, also comes to the Stallions from the highest level of junior hockey in Sweden. 

"He has a quick release, heavy shot. A dependable two-way player with what I would consider to be a very high hockey IQ," said Essa assistant coach and GM David Lang. "We have had some really good players from Sweden lace it up for us in Tofilovski, Holmstrom, Ljungstrom. We're hoping that Asplund and Wahlstrom can be added to the list."