By Rob Benneian
(LaSALLE, ON) – LaSalle Vipers centre Devon Paliani has signed with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League.
The 17 year-old LaSalle native was named the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Western Conference Rookie of the Year. He started the 2013-14 season with a bang, netting a hat trick in the Vipers’ season opener, on his way to scoring 26 goals and 54 points in 49 regular season games.
“It’s been a dream come true,” Paliani says of signing his first OHL contract. “Since Day 1, I’ve been going to Spitfires games and I’ve always wanted to play in the OHL. It just feels good to sign.”
Paliani was named the Vipers playoff MVP after scoring 11 goals and 15 points in LaSalle’s nine playoff games. Paliani also competed in the GOJHL Top Prospect game and was named to the league’s All-Rookie team.
“He had an excellent season with us in LaSalle, and our goal is always to have our players move on to bigger and better things. We wish him well with the Sudbury Wolves,” said Vipers head coach Bill Bowler. “He’s got a hunger to score goals. He has an ability to create scoring chances and finish. It’s a great day for Devon and he’s worked hard for it.”
Originally drafted by the Kingston Frontenacs in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection, the Wolves acquired Paliani’s rights on June 5 in a deal with Kingston.
“After going over some things, I realized it would be a good fit and I’m looking forward to going to camp,” Paliani said. “Signing is awesome, but now I have to make the team. I need to get bigger and stronger, and I want to get faster because you can never be too fast.”
Paliani will be in attendance, on August 28, when the Wolves open their main camp in Sudbury.