Carrying on the long-standing tradition of Golden Bears hockey alumni turning pro, four recent graduates have signed professional contracts for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Rhett Rachinski and Brennan Yadlowski, both of whom graduated from the Golden Bears this past spring, as well as 2016 graduate Kruise Reddick and 2015 graduate Jesse Craige, have all signed with the Elite Ice Hockey League’s Guildford Flames.
The EIHL is the top professional hockey league in the United Kingdom, with the Flames becoming the league’s 12th team this past February. Guildford was also the place Golden Bears alumni, and current general manager Stan Marple spent seven seasons as both a player and head coach (1997-2005), and another three seasons solely as they their head coach (2005-2007).
Reddick, Craige, Rachinski, and Yadlowski all spent five seasons with the Golden Bears, helping the program earn back-to-back national championships in 2014 and 2015. Yadlowski spent last season as the Golden Bears captain, leading the team to their 53rd conference championship, with Rachinski serving as one of the alternate captains.
Reddick, who spent last season with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, an affiliate for the Dallas Stars of the NHL, finished his U SPORTS career with 118 points over 130 conference games, including a career-high 14 goals and 30 points in his final season. The 25 year-old Manor, Saskatchewan native was named captain of the 2015-16 CIS All-Star team, and of the 2015 Team Canada squad that won bronze at the Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain. Reddick was also a Canada West First Team All-Star in his final season.
Craige joined the Golden Bears in 2010, quickly establishing himself as one of the elite point-producing defenseman in Canada West. He recorded 93 points in 131 career games, earning the Canada West defenseman of the Year in 2013 and 2015. Most recently, he helped guide Les Rapaces de Gap to a 2017 Ligue Magnus Championship.
Rachinski recorded 17 goals and 49 points in 115 Canada West conference games with UAlberta, adding another pair of goals during the 2016-17 conference playoffs. Yadlowski, meanwhile, became a fixture on the Bears blueline in 2014-15, totaling 16 points in 78 career games.
“I am definitely excited to join the Flames for the coming season.” Rachinski told eliteleague.co.uk. “We are going to have a number of guys who are familiar with each other, and hopefully that will give us a bit of a head start on coming together as a group.”
Prior to joining the EIHL, the Flames captured six English Premier League Championships from 1997 to 2016.