The Whitecourt Wolverines are proud to announce 20-year-old defenceman, Brody Valette, has committed to the Rochester Institute of Technology (NCAA Div. I) beginning in the 2016/2017 season.
The High River, Alberta product, Valette, is currently in his third and final season in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and also his first as a member of the Whitecourt Wolverines. Valette spent his previous two seasons in the league with the Drumheller Dragons, where he played in 94 games recording five goals and 25 assists.
Valette joined the Wolverines at the beginning of this season and despite only being just past the midway point, he has set career highs in both goals and points. Valette currently ranks third among AJHL defenceman in goal scoring with nine goals.
“It was a difficult summer for me, not knowing where I’d be playing this year,” Valette admitted while talking about his path to joining the Wolverines. “I got a phone call from the coaching staff in Whitecourt and I felt like it would be good opportunity for me as they needed a veteran defenceman and I knew they do such a great job of promoting their players and getting them commitments, so I was intrigued by that and it was just a perfect fit.”
“They (RIT) first began talking to me, as well as a few other guys on our team, at the Showcase earlier this year,” said Valette on the process of being recruited by RIT. “Having been in the Frozen Four in 2010 and winning their division a year ago, they’re a program on the rise and getting better every year so I think it’s exciting to be a part of that.”
Prior to his AJHL career, Valette played his midget hockey for the then, UFA Bisons, now known as the Foothills CFR Chemical Bisons. In 57 games of midget-AAA hockey, Valette compiled 17 points to go along with just 6 penalty minutes.
RIT will welcome Valette at the start of next season, where he will join fellow Wolverine alumnus, Matthew Abt, on the Tiger blue line. Coincidentally, Valette trails Abt by just one goal for the Wolverines single season record for goals by a defenceman, which Abt set during the 2013/2014 season with 10 goals.
“He said he loved it at RIT and that it’s a good organization to play for,” said Valette on meeting with Abt while visiting the campus. “They play their freshmen a lot, he told me, they put you in the fire at the start of the year and that’s great to hear.”
“In his final season in the AJHL, this is big news for him (Valette), its not easy for any 20-year-old to obtain a division one commitment,” added Wolverines Head Coach, Joey Bouchard. “He’s earned it, he’s worked extremely hard for it and he has come a long way in his two-way game. Brody is a highly motivated individual and a great student of the game. He has provided leadership to our club and has become a valuable defenceman for our team.”
“He skates exceptionally well and has tremendous vision” noted Bouchard on on his veteran defenceman. “Those two essential qualities will allow him to have success with the RIT Tigers.”
Valette becomes the third Wolverine defenceman in as many years to accept a commitment from RIT, joining the previously mentioned Matthew Abt and Gordie Ballhorn.
The Tigers are currently in their 10th season in the Atlantic Hockey Association, which also marks their 10th season in the NCAA’s Division I. They enter this year coming off winning their second division title last season, which earned them a spot in the 2015 NCAA tournament where they knocked off the heavily favored, University of Minnesota-Mankato, in the first round. The team is guided by Head Coach, Wayne Wilson, who is in his 17th year at the helm of the RIT hockey program.
The entire Wolverine organization would like to congratulate Brody and his family on his selection of the Rochester Institute of Technology for his college experience and wish him all the best in his academics and athletics.
In the last two years the Wolverines have sent 12 players onto collegiate careers at the CIS, ACAC and NCAA level.
Brody is the 4th Wolverine on or previously on this year’s roster to commit to the NCAA:
Taden Rattie – Western Michigan University
Joseph Nardi – Northern Michigan University
Justin Young – University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Brody Valette – Rochester Institute of Technology