WolfPack add on the blueline with signing of Junior A vet Ben Bula
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - Submitted by TRU Men's Hockey
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack hockey team has signed another defenceman for the 2012-13 B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League season.
The WolfPack have signed 5'9" rearguard Ben Bula to a commitment sheet for the upcoming season. Bula is a native of Kamloops, B.C. but spent the last two seasons in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playing for the LaRonge Ice Wolves.
"It feels good just to be home," said Bula recently. "Just to see so many familiar faces and to play for a program which is an up and coming organization. I am glad they want me for their team and I hope that I can do everything I can to help us win a championship."
The 165 pound Bula had a goal and nine points along with 109 penalty minutes last season with La Ronge. He had a number of options to go to school in Alberta but explains why he chose TRU.
"I decided to come here because it seemed to be the right fit for me. They have the courses that I want and its the most affordable. And their hockey program from what I have heard and seen is only getting better. This was a place I wanted to put myself in."
He will be taking upgrading courses with an eye to becoming a physiotherapist in the future. His brother Jon runs a personal training studio in Vancouver. In fact, Bula worked out at that facility with current WolfPack player Curtis Tonello for two summers. Bula is a player who despite small in stature plays big.
"I am not afraid of the rough stuff," he states. "I like to crash and bang and throw my body at pretty much anything."
La Ronge head coach and general manager Bob Beatty has high praise for Bula.
"He was a solid defensive defenceman for us for the past two years. He was a popular player because of his physical play. He played bigger than his size and was certainly prepared to back up his physicality and stick up for his teammates."
Beatty said Bula is able to handle himself if he had to get into a fight.
"But that is not in huge factor in the SJHL contrary to what some might like to believe," he added. "Ben wasn’t on our roster because he was a fighter, more so because he has a great complete level and is able to contrite to the team as an aggressive defender and a good leader. He is in great condition. The Ice Wolves wish Ben all the best and are grateful for his efforts the past two years."
Says WolfPack General Manager Chris Hans: "Ben is a well-rounded player who brings a nice combination of leadership, determination, skill and grit to our program. Ben has the potential to play big minutes on the WolfPack blue line and see him matched up against our opponent’s top lines next season. I know Ben had offers to play in the ACAC and elsewhere and it is always nice to have a local minor hockey product return to Kamloops and play for the WolfPack."
While WolfPack head coach Don Schulz states: "Ben Bula is a welcome addition to the Wolfpack D corps. He’s very steady defensively and plays bigger than his size. He has excellent balance and is strong on his skates. He’s used to success and won the Keystone Cup with the Jr. B Revelstoke Grizzlies before making the jump to Jr. A."
"I’ve known Ben a long time and he’ll bring the type of character that we want in the dressing room. As Chris Hans alluded to, Ben’s the type of D who we can match up against other team’s top 6 forwards. He’ll chip in offensively as well. I‘m really looking forward to having Ben on the team and expect him to contribute on and off the ice."
Bula is a proven winner. Not only did he win a Keystone Cup but also an SJHL Championship with La Ronge in 2010-11.
One player who is happy that Bula decided to come to TRU is fellow recruit and former La Ronge teammate Brennan Wright.
"I'm very excited to be teammates with Ben again. He was one of the first members of the Ice Wolves to welcome me into the room and has been a good friend and a great teammate since. He is a very hard worker and leads by setting a good example for the team to follow. He was always there with a fight, big hit, a key shot block, or a great defensive play. I could always count on him to be there for the team and he would always give everything he could for the team."
"Being able to attend TRU with Ben will really help me in the transition from coming from Ontario and learning about Kamloops and TRU. I've always been traded to teams where I know no one. So being able to go to a city where I have a least a friend or two should make it easier to make more and learn the ins and outs of Kamloops. Being able to attend school with him should make it exciting and fun from the start and I'm really looking forward to become a member of the WolfPack with Ben."
Bula is looking forward to playing in the BCIHL.
"I hear the league is only getting better. I have talked to a few guys who are on other teams around the league and they say it is good hockey."
Other recruits that have committed to the WolfPack for the 2012-13 season are: Anthony Delong (Castlegar Rebels, KIJHL), Tyler Jackson (Kamloops Storm, KIJHL), Rigby Burgart (Quesnel Millionaires, BCHL), Chase Edwards (Kamloops Storm, KIJHL), and Colten De Frias (Kamloops Storm, KIJHL).
The WolfPack will open their 2012 training camp in early September.
Wednesday, May 22 Three members of defending BCIHL champions commit to TRU for 2013/14 Read Full Story
Thursday, May 2 Spokane Braves forward Bell commits to Eastern Washington University Read Full Story
Wednesday, May 1 North Delta captain Lenting commits to Selkirk College for 2013/14 season Read Full Story
Tuesday, April 30 Former ACAC, SJHL coach Barret Kropf named head coach at Trinity Western Read Full Story
Thursday, April 18 5-year WHL/USHL veteran McCrea commits to Selkirk College for 2013 Read Full Story