Campus Life

Horns men's hockey adds experience, production with new recruiting class

After overhauling the roster prior to last season, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s hockey team announced its 2016-17 recruiting class by adding nine players; five forwards, three defencemen, and one goaltender.

Russ Maxwell, Garrett Hughson, Cory Millette, Ryan Chynoweth, Torrin White, Connor Sanvido, Ayrton Nikkel, Clint Filbrandt and Evan Wardley make up the group, one that includes considerable Western Hockey League experience.

“We are extremely happy with our newest additions,” says Horns head coach Spiros Anastas. “We have filled some holes while adding incredible depth at every position. Last season was a huge step in our process and we believe the ultimate step into the post-season will come this year. We have added great character, speed, toughness and scoring - all very important attributes that help our success moving forward.”
The ‘Horns will open the Canada West regular season at home on October 14 against the Regina Cougars.
Among the key acquisitions is Russ Maxwell, who joins his older brother Mitch on the ‘Horns and returns to hockey after serving a two-year mission with the Church of Latter Day Saints.

The Magrath native played four seasons in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Seattle Thunderbirds, registering 61 goals and 86 assists in 278 career games. His best season offensively was during the 2012-13 season when he recorded 22 goals and 33 assists in 66 games for the Hurricanes.

“As Russ returns from his two-year mission we are fortunate that he has had the entire summer to skate and train,” says Anastas. “Russ brings a heart-and-soul element to our front line with an offensive touch.”

Garret Hughson, another southern Alberta product, has been brought in to solidify the Horns goaltending position after a record breaking 20-year-old year season in tier-2 Junior.

Hughson, a six-foot-three inch Foremost, Alberta product, spent three full seasons with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL befpre a brief stint with the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires. He returned to Alberta to lead the Brooks Bandits to an RBC Cup semi-finals appearance.

With the Bandits, Hughson went 14-3 in the regular season with a 2.27 goals-against-average (GAA) and 0.918 save percentage. In the Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs, Hughson was nothing short of spectacular, losing only one game and sporting a stingy 1.10 GAA.
“Adding another starting goaltender was a priority for us this offseason,” says Anastas. “We finally have some size in net with Garret and his athleticism is incredible; his major junior experience with Spokane and Windsor will be valuable, and his confidence coming off a record shattering AJHL playoff run with Brooks will allow him to hit the ground running.”
Coming off the best statistical season of his WHL career, Cory Millette has decided to stay in Lethbridge after playing his 20-year-old season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The left winger scored a career high 34 goals while adding 30 assists in his final WHL season.
Millette also suited up for the Red Deer Rebels, Saskatoon Blades, Prince Albert Raiders and Seattle Thunderbirds during his five year WHL career.
“We are very excited to be keeping Cory in Lethbridge,” says Anastas. “Cory is a scorer who plays in the tough areas and will add a much needed presence in front of the net, with natural leadership.”
For more on the recruiting class, check out