Craige Added to Flames roster
The Guildford Flames have secured the services of Canadian Defenceman Jesse Craige who transfers to Surrey fresh off helping Gap to the French Magnus League Championship. The 28 year old iced 42 games in France’s top league last year, registering 3 goals and 24 points before tacking on a 1 goal and 11 assist showing in 16 playoff outings. The 5’10, 180lb blueliner made his pro debut in the Asian League with Nippon Paper Cranes in 2015-2016 where 54 games, including playoffs, yielded 5 goals and 9 assists.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Flames organisation.” said Craige. “I am looking forward to the new challenge, and the experience of life in the UK.”
Prior to his overseas move, the native of Edmonton iced 5 seasons in his hometown with the University of Alberta Golden Bears where he helped with back to back National titles in 2014 and 2015 during his final 2 terms of eligibility. In addition to major team success, Craige accepted a variety of honours including Canada West conference 1st or 2nd Team All-Star nods in 3 consecutive seasons; Most Outstanding Defenceman twice; as well as 2nd team All-Canadian selection in 2012-2013 and 1st team All-Canadian in 2014-2015. He was also on form at the University Cup National Finals when he was named to the CIS All-Tournament Team in 3 consecutive seasons between 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. His final year accolades didn’t end there thanks to his selection as the top Defenceman in Canadian college hockey, and a Bronze Medal representing Canada at the World Universiade Games where he had 4 points in 6 starts.
Prior to his university success, and after hoisting a League title with Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Craige spent 4 seasons in the Western Hockey League with Lethbridge Hurricanes and Chilliwack Bruins. In 218 Major Junior starts, he posted 27 goals and 109 points not including 7 more in 23 playoff appearances.
“The thing that will really stand out to our supporters when they get their first look at Jesse is how well he skates,” said Head Coach Paul Dixon. “When people talk about a mobile defenceman they are thinking of players like this.”
“He is very effective at entering his own end, collecting pucks with efficiency, and getting his club turned around to go the other way. That skill has produced a pretty healthy dose of points from the back end over the years.”
“We are really excited that we were able to finally come to a deal that puts Jesse in a Flames uniform this season.”
Photo attached of Jesse Craige with French Champions Gap last season. Photo from Le Dauphiné libéré / by Virgile GAZZANIGA.