The Adelaide Adrenaline, proudly presented by Hards Transport, are pleased to announce that Canadian defenseman Morgan McNeil has signed an import contract for the 2017 season.
Morgan has a sister in Adelaide and was coming over to play hockey in Ice Hockey South Australia’s Premier League competition with the Adelaide Red Wings. Thankfully, the Red Wings have allowed him to join the Adrenaline for the season.
Believe it or not, Morgan became a fan of the Adrenaline after following the team from Canada.
This leaves the Adrenaline with five imports including Morgan. The others are: Cole MacMillan (forward), Cam Critchlow (forward), Casey Babineau (defenseman) and Tyler Steel (goalie).
Morgan, who hails from Prince Edward Island in Canada, is the third Adrenaline player from the tiny Canadian province to suit up for the Adrenaline this season. He joins Cam and Cole as the other PEI-natives. Casey Babineau lived and went to school in PEI for four years.
The experienced journeyman McNeill arrives off the back of 3 seasons in the New Brunswick Senior Hockey League with the Tracadie Alpines and the Bouctouche JC’s.
In his most recent season with Bouctouche, McNeill and his teammates went all the way to the semi-finals of the Allan Cup – Canada’s senior men’s national championship.
McNeill says he is extremely excited to get started in Adelaide. He says he has followed the Adrenaline and the AIHL the last season by keeping in contact with Red Wings clubman Hayden Crafter and Adrenaline president Eric Balnar.
“The timing was right,” says McNeill. “I felt like this summer I could come down and help hockey in South Australia and maybe play a bit for the Adrenaline. I know that the Adrenaline have the pieces in place to be successful and I envision us competing for the Goodall cup this season.”
McNeill’s sister also lives in Adelaide.
“I felt like it would be a great opportunity to get down and spend a few months with her. She has attended Adrenaline games in the past, and she loved the atmosphere, so I’m excited to finally be a part of it,” he says.
McNeil is known as a head down hard worker that is smooth on the ice and can bring valuable experience to a Adrenaline roster that is eager to improve.
The 185cm defender is committed to being a leader throughout his time in Adelaide.
“I pride myself on my leadership skills and my work ethic both on and off the ice. I lead a dedicated lifestyle both on and off the ice and I hope the guys will like that about me and want to follow my work ethic.”
When asked about what he thinks about the state of the Adrenaline roster, it sounds like McNeil is keen to put the skates on alongside his new team mates.
“Just from talking to the guys it seems like a great spot to play hockey. I played with and against a few players who have been with the Adrenaline in the past and I know the type of skill they had, and with the new recruits were bringing in I believe we’ll have a well-rounded team,” he says.
Head coach Sami Mantere says a player like Morgan adds a lot of depth and flexibility to the Adrenaline. With five imports, and only four allowed to dress each game, Mantere says he can go with whatever gives the team the best chance to win.
“We have two forwards, two defenseman and a goalie. Everybody is going to have a great chance to earn a spot with the Adrenaline. Morgan seems like a great guy and his enthusiasm is contagious,” says Mantere.
McNeill says he is ready to work hard with the club.
“Just from talking with coach Sami, Eric, [Vice President] Mark Beckett and [equipment manager] Dean Worsely they all seem like easy-going, hard-working guys and I think that is what we will be about this season – a hard working club,” he says.
“I going, hard-working guys, and I think that’s what we’ll be all about this season. A hard working club. I know the guys have been training for a while now and I think we’re going to come out of the gate more prepared than last season,” he adds.
The Adelaide Adrenaline are extremely excited to have Morgan on board this season and are looking forward to the season opener against the Newcastle North Stars on April 22nd. Tickets to that game can be purchased at www.tickets.adelaideadrenaline.com.au.