BROOKS, AB (May 22, 2015) — 1996-born forward Michael Falanga (East Haven, CT) has commited to the Brooks Bandits for the 2015-16 Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) season, the team announced today.
Falanga comes to Brooks after leading the 18U Connecticut Wolf Pack in scoring this past season, with 69 points (30 goals, 39 assists) in 62 total games at the Elite AAA level, with 98 penalty minutes.
The 5’6”, 145lb forward also joined the New York Jr. Islanders for the 2014 Mac’s Midget Tournament in Calgary, leading that team in goal scoring with 4 goals and 3 assists in 4 games.
“We had the opportunity to see Mike at the Mac's Tournament and felt he was a dominant player in the event,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “He is a smaller player that hits, battles and competes as hard as any. At the same time he's proven that he can score and contribute offensively.“
“Mike has phenomenal edges and is a great skater,” he noted.
Falanga was also named to the 2012-13 Connecticut boys’ ice hockey All-State team by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, and to the 2013-14 Southern Connecticut Conference Division 1 All-Conference Team, during his time with East Haven High School.
“I would like to thank Coach Papaioannou, Coach Cunningham and the rest of the Brooks Bandits organization for giving me the opportunity to become a part of a wonderful junior program,” said Falanga. “I am extremely excited about the upcoming season and furthering my career as a student-athlete at the next level.”
“Mike is a player we hope to see contribute to the top part of our line up early in the season,” noted Papaioannou.
Falanga is the seventh 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), 1998-born defenceman Cale Makar (Calgary, AB), and 1998-born forward Matteo Aiello (Calgary, AB).