TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Junior Oilers have added a pair of 18-year olds from Colorado to their rapidly growing roster. Forward Matt Winkle and defenseman Andy Howard have signed with the Jr. Oilers for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
Winkle, a 6’0” 160-pound left winger, spent the last two seasons playing for the Foothills Major AA program in Littleton. A native of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Winkle lists his passing ability as one of the strengths of his game.
“I take more pride in setting up a goal than I do in scoring a goal,” said Winkle definitively. “I think I’m a hard-working player and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get the puck and help my team.”
Winkle has set a goal for to play college hockey and sees a junior career as a necessary first step.
“I know there will be some bigger guys and a faster pace but I think I’m prepared for it,” Winkle said. “I’m excited for the challenge and I hope this will lead to bigger and better things.”
Howard, who hails from Gunnison, Colorado, will bring a big, physical presence to the Jr. Oilers lineup. The 6’1” 215-pound blue liner comes to Tulsa after two successful seasons with the Gunnison Blades Midget Major A squad.
“I met Coach Zac (Desjardins) at a junior development camp and when I heard he was coaching, I wanted to go play for him,” Howard said. “Knowing him made the decision to come to Tulsa a lot more comfortable.”
Howard describes himself as a Chris Chelios type of player and enjoys the physical nature of hockey. He’ll also bring a measure of leadership to the young Oilers.
“I’ve been a captain almost every year,” said Howard. “I’ll say something when it’s needed, but mostly I just put my head down and try to lead by example.”
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.