Pair of WHL champs join Steelheads

Boise, Idaho – Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Neil Graham announced that the Idaho Steelheads have agreed to terms with forward Chase Braid and defenseman Cole Martin. The two were teammates last season with the Kelowna Rockets, champions of the Western Hockey League and runner-up in the Memorial Cup tournament.

The Steelheads are the ECHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League and the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.

Braid was acquired mid-season by the Rockets from Prince George. In 65 combined regular-season games, he posted 24 points (13g-11a) and 78 penalty minutes. He appeared in all five games for Kelowna in the Memorial Cup Finals, scoring a goal and adding an assist.

Martin, 21, posted a plus/minus rating over the past three seasons (including playoffs) of +163 over 262 games, including last spring’s Memorial Cup. In his final season with the Rockets, he ranked third in the regular season among the team’s defensemen with 39 points (7g-32a). During the 2013-14 regular season, the Arlington, Texas native posted a +61 rating, tops in the entire WHL. Only one North American player, major-junior or pro, had a higher plus/minus rating that season.