NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Lone Star Brahmas are pleased to announce the signing of three players for the 2016-17 season. Goaltender Cole Weaver, defenseman Jordan Wishman, and forward Julian Biondo each signed a tender contract with Lone Star earlier this month.
Weaver and Wishman both play on the Omaha U18 AAA team, the same organization Matt Christian and Darion Hanson once played for.
Weaver, 17, played a few seasons with Hanson and said he is very excited about the opportunity to play in Texas after hearing “so many great things” about the DFW area, Brahmaland, and its fan base.
“I’ve heard great things about the coaching staff,” Weaver said. “I got to talk to both [Dan Wildfong and Jeff Potter] and how many goalies they’ve had move up and a goalie drafted in the NHL. Hopefully I’ll be joining that group one day and hopefully I get that spot next year.”
Cole Weaver, a native of Champlin Park, Minnesota, is off to a fantastic start in net. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound goalie is 10-1-0 with three shutouts and ranks inside the top ten of the NAPHL with a 1.45 goals against average and .927 save percentage.
"Cole's a kid that we’ve watched for a couple of years,” Assistant Coach Jeff Potter said. “He's had a very successful career and we feel he will be an immediate contributor in our league next year.”
The future Brahma goaltender already has NAHL experience with the Minnesota Magicians, playing 12 games for his hometown team last season. He holds a 28-3-0 all-time record playing in Omaha.
Weaver will join his teammate Jordan Wishman in the Lone Star State next fall.
“(Cole and I) are both excited,” Wishman chimed in. “We talked about the chance of living together would be pretty cool. This is our third year playing together so we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman has 12 points through 20 games this season, ranking second on his team amongst defensemen. He came on the Brahmas’ radar after scoring six points in five games at the NAPHL Showcase in Blaine back in October.
“Obviously I’m excited. Lone Star is a great program,” Wishman said. “It was an easy choice really with everything they have to offer. Good coaches, a record of moving guys on, and the small things too. (There’s a) Good fan base, good facilities, a team nutritionist, and even an SAT/ACT instructor. That really stood out to me.”
The Des Moines, Iowa native also has a knack for winning. Wishman was a member of the Omaha 16U team that won the NAPHL title and advanced to the USA Hockey Tier I 16U National Championships. But he does not want the winning to end there.
Wishman said he wants to bring a strong defensive game to Lone Star and be a player who can skate during all situations on the ice.
"He's extremely intelligent,” Potter said. “He has a high hockey IQ which is something we look for in our defensemen and we have no doubts that he can come here next year and play right away."
The most recent tender signing, forward Julian Biondo, also hopes to contribute right away. The Shelby Township, Michigan native said it was a no-brainer to commit to the Brahmas.
“My coaches at the Grizzlies have really talked to me throughout the year about what they thought a good fit was and right when Lone Star called we were all really excited,” Biondo said. “After talking to the coaches, I really liked what I heard and I was excited to sign a tender.”
Playing for the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U18 team, Biondo has eight goals and 28 points through 19 games this season. His 28 points are the fifth most points in the T1EHL this season.
“I got to keep working and keep producing points because the hard work is paying off right now. We’re having a really good year as a team and each guy is working hard and that helps pay off individually, too,” Biondo said.
With the Grizzlies in the mix for a playoff spot, the alternate captain is proving to come through during big moments, leading his team with three game-winning goals already. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound forward can play on the ice during all situations and he is currently riding a seven-game point streak into mid-December. Biondo is optimistic that his offense will continue at a similar pace once he lands in Texas.
“I want to put the puck in the net, obviously, and be one of the hardest working guys out there. Go into the corners and get the puck and do whatever it takes to help the team,” Biondo responded.
After making some trades earlier this season, the Brahmas still have nine tenders available to help fill their roster for next season. Stay tuned for more signing updates throughout the year.
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