As they move closer with each passing day to their much-anticipated debut in the ECHL in the league’s 25th Anniversary Season, the Evansville IceMen, proud affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League and the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, have infused more talent into their lineup for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
On this date, the IceMen General Manager/Head Coach Rich Kromm has announced that standout center JASON DALE has assented to terms and will be joining the Evansville club when reveille dawns the start of training camp late next month. Adhering to club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
An IceMen quintessential nagging nemesis of the highest degree the past two seasons in the CHL, DALE, 23, will be ushering-in his fourth pro campaign overall and his initial endeavor under the Evansville banner. The jet-streaming 5-11, 190lb forward arrives on the Tri-State pro hockey scene following two outstanding seasons in Bloomington (IL) under two incarnations; the Prairie Thunder in 2010-11 and, more recently, last season with the Blaze. In each of those seasons, he was deadly dynamic at the expense of his new employer.
In 2011-12, the Pickering, Ontario product ranked fourth in Bloomington team scoring, assembling 39-points in a team-high 65-games through 17-goals, 22-assists with 26-PIM. A constant kinetic offensive catalyst, with lightning coming out of his skats blades, he ranked runner-up on the club with 2-SHG and 187-SOG, also delivering 4-PPG and 1-OT/GWG.
One year previously in 2010-11, Dale spurred the Bloomington club to its first-ever post-season playoff berth, topping the team in scoring, registering 52-points in 63-games on 17-goals, 35-assists with 65-PIM. Those 35-assists, which included 16-PPA ranked #1 for the Central Illinois-based sextet in both departments while his 2-SHG, again placed him team second best. In that same season, he engineered 4-GWG with one of those also of the OT/GWG variety. For a second successive season as well the right-hand shooting marksmen authored 4-PPG and finished second in SOG, this time with 207. Perhaps, the most prominent highlight in Dale’s ’10-11 campaign came when he was heralded as the CHL All-Star Game MVP in Rapid City, SD where he fashioned an awesome and then-some night, composing 7-points on 2-goals, 5-assists and brilliant +7 rating.
GM/Coach Kromm is looking forward to having Dale in his arsenal instead of being forced to deal with him as a member of the opposition. “Jason is a solid, two-way forward who competes extremely hard every night. He is a terrific skater who has the ability to add some significant offensive punch in our lineup. He is strong on face-offs and is an excellent penalty-killer as well. It will be great to have him on our side as he has always been a thorn in our side the past two years.”
To elaborate and delineate Dale’s prosperous times against the IceMen the past two seasons, in 2010-11, he led the Bloomington scoring parade against his new team with 9(4-5-9), a stellar +4 rating and 3-GWG to beat Evansville. Last season, he was second in point-production against the IceMen with 10(2-6-8), +2 rating and team-high 34-SOG.
This will be Dale’s second tour of duty in the ECHL having actually debuted in the pro ranks back in 2009-10 with the Utah Grizzlies, 12(2-1-3) 4-PIM and Bakersfield Condors, 17(1-5-6) 4-PIM.
In 2010-11, he attained elevation to the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers for a 4-game stint. In 2011-12 he saw more time in the AHL with the Abbotsford Heat.
Prior to arriving on the pro hockey scene, Dale enjoyed a sound and solid three-year major junior ‘A’ career in the OHL with the Brampton Battalion where in 185-games, he collected 93-points on 34-goals, 59-assists with 62-PIM and sterling +45 rating.
Dale’s pro career numbers read: 162-games; 37-goals, 63-assists, 100-points; 99-PIM.
Today’s signing of center JASON DALE increases the total to 6- players in the IceMen fold for the 2012-13 ECHL season. He joins defensemen MATT GENS, PHILIPPE PLANTE; center TODD ROBINSON, left wing JOSH BEAULIEU; right wing DAN GENDUR.