San Francisco, Calif. – The San Francisco Bulls Professional Hockey Team, proud affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, announced today the signing of forwards Kris Belan (BELL-in), Kevin Baker and Jonathan Lessard (luh-SAHRD). The trio joins Peter Sivak on the Bulls roster, bringing the total number of players to four for the team’s upcoming inaugural 2012-13 season.
“Today is a big next step in filling out the Bulls’ roster,” said Bulls President and Head Coach Pat Curcio. “Kris brings invaluable leadership to our team. Kevin is a quality center that will serve as one of our centermen, while Jonathan is a natural goal scorer, who we expect to fill the net this season. It’s still early, but the team is starting to shape up nicely.”
Belan, 25, joins the Bulls having finished a five-year career at the University of Guelph of the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport). The Florence, Ontario, native captained Guelph for two seasons, from 2010-2012. He led the team in goals four out of his five years and led the team in penalty minutes twice. In five seasons with Guelph, the left wing totaled 99 points (60 goals, 39 assists) and 415 penalty minutes in 131 games. Following his college career, Belan played 13 gamers for Toledo of the ECHL in 2011-12, compiling four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and 16 p
enalty minutes. Belan also skated three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with London and Oshawa before spending one season with Pickering of the OPJHL (Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League).
“I am extremely excited about coming out to San Francisco,” said Belan. “I’ve heard a lot about the Cow Palace and know there’s a lot of history there. I’m looking forward to getting the season started and know that Pat will put together a top-grade team.”
Baker, 25, has been setting up his linemates for the past four seasons at the University of Western Ontario of the CIS. He twice led the team in assists and points. Over his career, the center collected 130 points (44 goals, 86 assists) in 109 games. Baker helped lead Western Ontario to two University Cup finals in 2009 and 2012. The Brampton, Ontario, native was named to the OUA first-team in 2011-12 and the OUA second-team in 2010-11. Baker represented Team Ontario at the Under 17 World Hockey Championships in 2003-04.
From 2003-08, Baker played in the OHL for Owen Sound, Sudbury and Oshawa, totaling 228 points (109 goals, 119 assists) in 324 games. In 2006-07, he helped lead Sudbury to the OHL Finals, finishing third on the team in scoring during the regular season with 58 points.
“I’m excited about turning pro,” said Baker. “I’m positive we will have a strong team and look forward to getting off to a good start and having some team success.”
Lessard, 21, turns pro after five seasons in the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League). A native of St.-Eustache, Quebec, Lessard tied or led his team in goal scoring on three occasions, also finishing first on the team in points in 2009-10. An alternate captain for two seasons with Acadie-Bathurst, Lessard compiled 200 points (115 goals, 85 assists) in 254 games.
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About the San Francisco Bulls
The San Francisco Bulls Professional Hockey Team will officially take the ice as an expansion team of the ECHL on October 12. The Bulls are the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. The Bulls are part of the Western Conference of the ECHL, and will play a 72-game schedule with 36 home games to take place at the legendary Cow Palace. The ECHL’s Western Conference includes the following member teams and their NHL affiliates: Colorado Eagles (Winnipeg Jets), Idaho Steelheads (Dallas Stars), Utah Grizzlies (Calgary Flames), Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings), Stockton Thunder (Edmonton Oilers), Alaska Aces, Bakersfield Condors and Las Vegas Wranglers. For more information about The San Francisco Bulls, including Season Ticket and corporate partnership opportunities, please visit http://sfbulls.com or call 415-469-9843.
About the ECHL:
The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states. Today, the league has 23 teams in 16 states. The ECHL celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League. The ECHL has had 234 players reach the NHL over the last seven seasons. It’s the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. On opening day of the 2011-12 season, 83 former ECHL players were on NHL rosters. The ECHL teams are divided into the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. The Western Conference includes the Alaska Aces, Bakersfield Condors, Colorado Eagles, Idaho Steelheads, Las Vegas Wranglers, Stockton Thunder, Ontario Reign, Utah Grizzlies and now the San Francisco Bulls. All teams play a 72-game schedule. For more information please visit http://www.echl.com/