TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Junior Oilers of the WSHL have signed defensemen Trevor Ruiz and Mike Evans as well as goaltender Jordan Cartney for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
Ruiz, a 5’9” 200-pound blue-liner, joins the Junior Oilers after spending last season as a member of the Tier III Toledo Cherokee in the North American 3 Hockey League. Prior to his time in Toledo, the 18-year old Ruiz played two seasons for the Eugene Generals, a Junior A squad in the Northern Pacific Hockey League.
“I’m looking for Trevor to be a leader on this team,” said Junior Oilers Head Coach Zac Desjardins. “I’m going to lean on him to help me out and I know he can do it because he’s a great player and he has a great personality. He’ll bring a lot of energy and a lot of laughs to our club.”
“I’ve had three years of junior experience so I’m definitely prepared for anything that will come my way,” commented Ruiz. “I’ve normally been the young guy on my teams and I’ve never really taken much of a leadership role, but I’m definitely willing to help out our younger guys as much as I can.”
Ruiz is a native of Riverside, California and refers to himself as a “low-risk” defenseman. He models his game after NHL stars like Dion Phaneuf of the Maple Leafs and Milan Lucic of the Bruins.
“Those guys are not afraid of anyone or anything,” said Ruiz. “I try to be the same way out there on the ice. I absolutely enjoy the physical part of the game, and I may not be able to provide much offense but I’ll do anything I can for the team.”
Ruiz will be joined on the blue line by Evans, a fellow Californian who hails from Fresno. Evans, 5’11” 170-pounds, skated last season for the U-18 AA San Jose Junior Sharks where he recorded one goal and 18 assists in 32 games.
“Mike is a solid d-man who possesses good speed, vision, and puck control,” Desjardins said. “He can turn it up on the offensive end of the ice and I think he can turn into a real goal-scoring threat.”
“I’m always pushing to improve myself and keep moving up to where the hockey is better,” said the 18-year old Evans. “It would be awesome to play college hockey one day but right now I just want to fulfill my role for this team and play as much as I can while I can.”
Evans and Ruiz played against each other at a Las Vegas showcase and were re-united this summer at the U.S. Junior Development Program in Colorado. There, Evans got to know both Ruiz and Cartney which he cites as a major factor in his decision to choose the Junior Oilers.
“It made my choice so much easier when I found out there would be other players I know and guys I’m friends with,” Evans said. “I really like Coach Zac and I like the way he’s going to use my abilities to help the team.”
At 6’3” 195-pounds, Cartney will provide an imposing presence in the Tulsa net. The Calgary, Alberta product who started playing hockey at the age of six, switched to goaltender at 11 and loves the pressure that comes with the position.
“I remember watching goalies on TV and I wanted to be the guy who makes the big save at the end of the game,” remembered Cartney. “I wanted to be the guy who everyone relies on in the big moments.”
After a season of stopping pucks for the Fountain Valley School of Colorado, Cartney returned to Canada last year where he suited up for the High River Flyers of the Heritage Junior B league. Cartney compares his puck-stopping style to that of Montreal Canadiens netminder, Carey Price.
“I like to talk on the ice, I think I play the puck very well, and I think I’ve become better at reading plays and reading shooters,” said Cartney. “I can be a standup goalie when I need to be, but I like to play the butterfly because with my size, I can take up almost the entire net.”
“Jordan comes to Tulsa with great experience under his belt having played juniors in Canada,” said Desjardins. “He’s got a fantastic work ethic and I expect his game to really improve at this level.”
The Junior Oilers season begins September 22 at the Dallas Ice Jets. Tulsa plays its home opener at the Oilers Ice Center on October 12 against the Texas Junior Brahmas.
General admission tickets for the Junior Oilers are $10 for adults and $7 for kids ages five and under. For more information call 918-632-PUCK.