NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — The Brahmas have signed Austin Bottrell to a tender contract for the 2017-18 season. Bottrell is the sixth forward to sign with Lone Star for the coming year.
Like the Brahmas’ most recent tender, Ture Linden, Bottrell comes to the NAHL out of the OJHL. Also like Linden, Bottrell has been an offensive force, putting up over a point per game in the regular season and tacking on seven points in ten postseason games.
Bottrell split his 55 games played between the Trenton Golden Hawks and the Burlington Cougars, scoring 18 goals and racking up 39 assists.
“Playing in Trenton was a great experience. You have to come to the rink every day working as hard as you can or you might lose your spot in the lineup with all the talent. Most people say that’s the best Junior A division in Canada, so I think it was a great spot to improve as a player and how to face adversity.” Bottrell said.
“Burlington is also a great team. I came in to be more of a go-to guy when we needed a big goal 5-on-5 or on the power play. Our season ended a little too early in my opinion and I thought we could have really made a run at it but was still a great season for me, Burlington and Trenton.”
He’ll look to take his game to the next step in the coming season, and saw the opportunity to come to Lone Star as the best way to do so. “I just wanted to go somewhere that’s had a good reputation and will get me to that next level, and after talking with the coaches [the Brahmas] sounded like the best fit for me,” he said.
The Brahmas are a good fit for Bottrell, but Bottrell is equally as good a fit for the Brahmas. Lone Star’s coaching staff is excited to see what Bottrell can do on the ice.
“He’s got great vision, can make plays with pucks in tight areas,” Head Coach Dan Wildfong said. “Obviously he’s a high-end player with a bit of junior experience as well. It’s very important to have that experience, especially with all the guys that you’re losing like Glover, Kamer, Kessel and others. Hopefully players like Bottrell can come in and take those guys’ spots.”
“He’s crafty,” Assistant Coach Al Rooney added. “He’s got a really good shot and great release.”
The coaches will look to see if they can recapture some chemistry between Bottrell and Linden, as the two played together briefly in Trenton, but they’re confident that both forwards will be assets to the Brahmas lineup no matter what.
“The big thing is that we want good people. The next thing is you have to play hard here. Play the kind of way we are accustomed to playing around here, and the rest we can always help teach,” Wildfong said.
Bottrell is confident that he’ll put his best foot forward for the team, the coaches, and the fanbase. “A kid who’s going to work hard every night no matter the results,” he said, when asked what to expect from him next season. “Someone who’s going to try to set his teammates up at all times and even score some goals. A very competitive player who’s not afraid to finish a check or block a shot.”
With Bottrell locked up, the Brahmas have three tenders remaining with which to continue building their 2017-18 roster.
* A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders – plus or minus any trades. Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft. *