Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – A pair of Hunters conclude the hunt for top prospects in MacEwan Griffins men's hockey head coach Michael Ringrose's 2021-22 recruiting class.
Hunter Donohoe and Hunter Lamb are joining the team for the upcoming Canada West season, Ringrose announced Tuesday ahead of the team's first training camp session.
Donohoe is an imposing blueline presence at 6-foot-5, 209 pounds with shutdown ability. The South Surrey, B.C. product finished his junior career with the BCHL's Vernon Vipers in 2020-21, serving as an assistant captain.
"With that kind of size, really if his development continues, the sky's the limit," said Ringrose. "We're excited to get him into the program and work with him and continue to develop.
"I see him as a big part of the team moving forward."
Donohoe produced six points in 19 games for the Vipers last season, but his work defending, which doesn't show up in the stats sheet, was top shelf.
"Obviously, I'm very familiar with Jason McKee, who is the head coach and GM out there, and he just had so many good things to say about the way he plays the game – consistent, solid and reliable," said Ringrose, who previously coached with McKee on the Spruce Grove Saints.
"For me, watching video on Hunter, I see he's playing his best hockey in his 20-year-old season, really embracing the player he needs to be to be successful."
Besides 62 games of experience in the BCHL – also suiting up briefly with the Surrey Eagles in 2016-17 – Donohoe has 90 Western Hockey League games under his belt from 2017-19 with Red Deer and Seattle.
"He can move the puck and contribute that way, but what stuck out to me is he's rangy, he's good positionally, he puts himself in good spots and is going to be a good asset that way for us," said Ringrose.
Hunter Lamb plays the role of an agitator to a T, but also has the ability to create offence, as evidenced by his 2020-21 production with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons when he recorded 25 points in 16 games (Dan Lines, Fort McMurray Oil Barons).
Lamb, the son of former Edmonton Oilers forward Mark Lamb, finished fifth in AJHL scoring in 2020-21 with 10 goals and 25 points in 16 games for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. But the 5-foot-10 centre's game is much more than just offence.
"He's difficult to play against," said Ringrose. "He can play up and down your lineup. He has the ability to play the role of a pest where he's hard on the forecheck, has strong puck pursuit and when he retrieves it has the offensive ability to make plays. He can get under guys' skin.
"He's definitely a versatile piece that we're excited to have."
All totaled, the Swift Current, Sask. native produced 108 points in 133 career AJHL games over three seasons – one with Lloydminster and the last two with Fort McMurray.
"He has strong offensive numbers, which if you look at his trajectory, it's not surprising," said Ringrose. "He's continued to get better every year his junior career.
"He plays the game with a ton of energy and tempo and has the ability to get under the skin of the opposing player. He makes it difficult to be on the ice against him."