The Fort McMurray Oil Barons are excited to announce that 20-year-old forward and team captain Brandon Ralph (Fort McMurray, AB) has committed to attend and play for the NAIT Ooks of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) next season.
“It’s a childhood dream come true to come back to Fort McMurray and play for the Oil Barons,” said Ralph. “Everyone in Fort McMurray has treated me well. I would’t expect anything less because Fort McMurray treated me well when I grew up there.”
“It’s going to be a new experience at NAIT, the next step in my life and future,” added Ralph. “I’m going to step into a real life role where I’ll have to learn how to balance school, life and hockey at the same time. I’m exicted to be part of that culture.”
Ralph, 20, joined the Oil Barons during training camp in September after spending three seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings and Everett Silvertips. In 31 games this season, Ralph sits fourth in team scoring with 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) and 34 penalty minutes. Ralph was also named team captain on October 8.
Oil Barons Head Coach and General Manager Tom Keca said Ralph’s commitment to NAIT was well deserved and described Ralph as a natural leader.
“As a coaching staff, we knew Brandon would bring leadership and experience to our team. As coaches, I think we’ve all gained a better appreciation for the leadership that Brandon brings to our dressing room every day through his compete level on the ice and his excitement to be involved in our community off the ice,” said Keca.
“We look at our organization as a stepping stone for players to move onto the next level,” added Keca. “As an Oil Baron and Fort McMurrayite, we’re very happy for Brandon and the next chapter he will take in his life, both in hockey and in his studies.”
Ralph becomes the first Oil Baron to commit to a post-secondary scholarship this season. He also becomes the first Oil Baron to commit to NAIT since Colton Yaremovich during the 2010/11 season.
For more information, please contact:
Tom Keca, Head Coach and General Manager
Phone: (780) 881-3108