The Selkirk College Men’s hockey program is pleased to announce the playing commitment of Richard Gratz to attend and compete for the Saints beginning in the 2015-2016 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season.
Gratz is a 6-foot-3, 190 pound defenseman who recently completed his final season with the OCN Blizzard of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. An intelligent first pass defender, the Surrey native previously spent time in North Delta playing in the Pacific Junior Hockey League and had a brief stint with the Melfort Mustangs in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League before finding a home in OCN.
Richard Gratz spent last season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League playing for the OCN Blizzard. He will be an important part of the Selkirk College Saints rebuild of their championship defensive unit when the team resumes play in September.
“I chose Selkirk College because all the people I talked to had nothing but good things to say,” says Gratz. “The hockey program is one of the best in British Columbia and I wanted to be a part of that.”
Replacing Championship Defensive Unit a Priority
In two seasons of tier-two hockey, Gratz has played 119 games scoring 23 points and 118 penalty minutes. Gratz is a big, physical presence on the back end that can make good first passes.
“Richard will bring a big physical presence to our defensive rebuild,” says Saints head coach Alex Evin. “Replacing our championship veterans will not be easy, but we believe Richard will come in and have a positive impact on our program on and off the ice.”
Playing in a small town in Manitoba, Gratz feels like Selkirk College will be a good fit for him.
“It was a good experience moving away from home to play hockey in a small town,” he says. “I definitely improved my game and learned a lot from the team and community.”
Gratz’s academic goals are to enroll in the University of Arts and Science program in the fall and eventually transition into one of the trade programs that Selkirk College has to offer.
Gratz is the third defenseman with tier-two experience to commit to the three-time defending BCIHL champion Saints for the 2015-2016 season.