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Bandits sign AAA Flames leading goal-scorer Aiello

BROOKS, AB (May 18, 2015) — The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) continued to shore up their 2015-16 roster Monday, announcing the signing of 1998-born forward Matteo Aiello (Calgary, AB).

Aiello, who turned 17 last Thursday, joins the Bandits from the Northwest Calgary Athletic Association (NWCAA) Midget AAA Flames, where he led the team in goal-scoring in just his first year of midget hockey, notching 12 goals and 9 assists for 21 points in 32 games played, ranking him second on the team in point-scoring behind fellow Bandits signee Cale Makar (Calgary, AB).

“We are excited about Matteo as he brings a tireless work ethic and plays the game with an edge,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “He plays fast and possesses a high skill level which will make him an effective player in many ways.”

The 5’10”, 170lb forward also led his previous team, the NWCAA Minor Midget AAA Bruins, in goal-scoring last year with 19 goals and 11 assists for 30 points in 35 games, ranking as the team’s second-highest scorer.

Aiello made his AJHL debut this past year, dressing in 3 games as an affiliate player for the Calgary Mustangs, scoring one assist in his first-ever Junior A game on November 27th, 2014.

“The Brooks Bandits are an amazing club with an outstanding track record and a great staff,” said Aiello. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’m extremely excited to be a part of such a great organization, and look forward to helping out the team.”

“Matteo is also strong academically, and a great person off the ice,” Papaioannou added, “which will be crucial in his pursuit of the NCAA.”

Aiello is the sixth newly-committed player for the 2015-16 season that the Bandits have announced, joining 1996-born defenceman Ben Foley (Edina, MN), 1996-born forward Austin Wright (Niagara Falls, ON), 1996-born defenceman James Gobetz (St. James, NY), 1997-born forward Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB), and the 1998-born defenceman Makar.