Salmon Arm Minor Hockey product Mike Puddifant, 20, has committed to play for the Westfield State University Owls in Massachusetts for the upcoming 2012-2013 season where he will study and play hockey. Puddifant played for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the 2008-2009 season before playing two years in the Coastal Division of the BCHL. The Fort McMurray Oil Barons acquired his Junior hockey rights from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on the Jan. 10, 2012, trade deadline. The Oil Barons are currently second in the standings in the northern division of the AJHL and ranked sixth in the country in the Canadian Junior Hockey League Top 20 rankings. Puddifant played all of his minor hockey in Salmon Arm before playing Major Midget in Kamloops at age 15 and then Junior B for the Chase Chiefs at age 16. At 17 he was signed by the SilverBacks.
The Fort McMurray Oil Barons announced his commitment to the Owls Feb. 8, statin on their website that Puddifant’s acquistion on Jan. 10 had an immediate impact on the Fort McMurray team.
“In 12 regular season games, he has earned seven points, while manning the blue line for the Oil Barons. Mike is a solid two way defenceman that makes intelligent decisions with the puck, is strong on his stick, physical, and is also able to contribute offensively. His presence has definitely solidified the defence corps for this year’s team.”
Puddifant becomes the fifth Fort McMurray Oil Baron from the 2011-2012 roster to secure a commitment from a post-secondary institution.