“I chose Maine because I really felt it was the best fit for me and I got a real good vibe from the coaches,” said Byron. “I also really liked how they get so many fans a game and really wanted that sort of atmosphere to play in front of every night.”
He will come to Orono next season as a true freshman.
“The (Maine) coaching staff had maybe thought of waiting an extra year, but they came up to watch me the last couple weeks and felt that by the end of this year I’ll be able to step in and play,” Byron stated.
Current freshman defenseman Ben Hutton swayed Byron decision to go to Maine.
“I’m real good friends with Ben Hutton, who is a freshman this year as he played on my team last year, “Byron added. “He had nothing but good to say about the school and how good the coaches were to him so far. It definitely helped in the decision making.”
The 17-year-old native of Osgoode, ON is in his second season with Kemptville and is coming off a rookie campaign in which he had 12 goals, 27 assists to lead the team. He’s off to a fast start this season with four goals, 13 assists in only 12 games in the CCHL.
Byron considers himself as an offensive forward who knows he can always improve.
“Strengths would be my vision on the ice and being able to read and create plays,” Byron said. “Weaknesses would be I’m too hard on myself and always expect to be better in every situation.”
Byron had interest in the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League, which selected him in the 11th round of the 2011 Draft.“I had a lot of interest from other schools, but Maine was the only school that stood out to me,” he said. “I’ve always been told to go with my gut feeling and my gut was saying Maine all the way. I had a lot of push from Niagara as they tried to get me to sign this year and last year, but I felt school was the better route for me so at least I have an education to fall back on if hockey doesn’t work out.”
The 6-foot-0, 176-pound center was listed by the NHL Central Scouting last week as a C player on their initial list. Getting his named called next summer is one of his goals before he gets to Maine.
“Some of my goals for this year are to help my team make a run for (the playoffs) and just get bigger and stronger. “I also want to make Team Canada East (for the World Junior “A” Challenge) and hopefully get the opportunity to get drafted to the NHL.
The WJAC takes place next month in Yarmouth, N.S. which features two Canada teams (East and West), USA, Russia, Czech Republic, and Switzerland.
NOTES: 2013 defensive recruit Daniel Renouf was named one of the USHL’s three stars of the week. In the opening weekend in the USHL, he had two goals and posted a plus-five rating in leading the Youngstown Phantoms to two wins.