WHL/BCHL veteran Rigby Burgart commits to Thompson Rivers University
Thursday, May 3, 2012 - Submitted by TRU Men's Hockey
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack wanted to improve upon its ‘grittiness’ as it prepares for the 2012-13 BC Intercollegiate Hockey League season. They went in that direction as they announced the signing of 21-year old forward Rigby Burgart of Fort St. James, B.C.
Burgart, who is 5’10 and 195 pounds, has played two years in both the Western Hockey League (Calgary Hitmen 2008-10) and the B.C. Hockey League (Quesnel Millionaires 2007-08 and 2010-11). He is known as a player who excels down low and in the corners.
He spent this past season (2011-12) playing with the Quesnel Kangaroos of the Central Interior Hockey League. He had 14 goals and 16 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 16 games. He added four goals and six assists and was the Kangaroos leading scorer in the playoffs.
"I’m excited about returning to play competitive hockey at the same time as going to school," says Burgart, who will be enrolling in the electrical program at Thompson Rivers. "I’m more motivated than ever to get a good education and playing for a good team as well. I hear Kamloops is a great hockey city and supports all their teams including the WolfPack. I’m also looking forward to getting out and being involved in the WolfPack’s community activities."
"I have heard great things about the league and one of my friend's brother (Darcy Huisman of Smithers, BC) played with the WolfPack a couple of years ago," stated Burgart.
He says ‘Pack general manager Chris Hans approached him two years ago about coming to Thompson Rivers to play.
"I decided to take a season off and at the same time, do some thinking on what I wanted to do as a job in the future. I got back on the ice in Quesnel and really wanted to come back to a really competitive environment. TRU offered everything I wanted."
Says Hans: "We are pleased to announce that Rigby Burgart will attend TRU in the fall and play for the WolfPack Men's Hockey team. Rigby is an important addition to the program as he brings considerable WHL and BCHL experience to our lineup. Rigby brings a tough, physical style of play to our team which is an area coach Schulz and I identified as something we needed to improve upon for the 2012/2013 BCIHL season."
"I've watched Rigby play since his first season in Quesnel (2007/2008) and have admired the way he plays the game. He's an honest, tough hockey player. I expect Rigby to play a significant role for the 'Pack for years to come."
Head coach Don Schulz is looking forward to working with Burgart, who had 6 goals and 7 assists along with 224 minutes in penalty time in two seasons in Quesnel.
"I’m very excited to have a player of Rigby’s experience joining our program. To reiterate what Chris Hans alluded to is that we needed to get bigger and grittier. Rigby is an experienced player that can skate and add to the physicality quotient to our team play. He’s a welcome addition to the WolfPack and I’ll be looking to Rigby to provide significant contributions on and off the ice for years to come."
Burgart had 4 goals and 8 points along with 227 minutes in penalty time in 106 career games with the WHL Calgary Hitmen.
He becomes the fifth WolfPack signing for the upcoming season following: Tyler Jackson (Kamloops Storm, KIJHL), Anthony Delong (Castlegar Rebels, KIJHL), Chase Edwards (Kamloops Storm, KIJHL) and Brennan Wright (LaRonge Ice Wolves, SJHL).
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