The Razorback Hockey team is pleased to announce our final three 2017-18 commits, F-Grant Deacon, D/F-Ryan Hall, and D-Tyler Valdron. All three are former HC Dallas teammates.
Grant Deacon comes to Arkansas after completing his youth hockey career with HC Dallas team and the Flower Mound/Marcus High School team in the USHS. In 19 games with HC Dallas, the 5’8” 160 lb. forward contributed 3 goals and 8 assists. In 17 games with the Flower Mound/Marcus High School team he contributed 23 goals and 13 assists.
Deacon spent his first year of 18U Midget Major hockey, 2015-16, with the McKinney North Stars. There, Deacon contributed 22 goals and 26 assists in 53 games.
When discussing his decision to commit to Arkansas Deacon said, “I have heard nothing but great things from several people, but mostly that the program is full of great guys who together form two competitive teams. I think that it is going to be a great opportunity to get a chance to play college hockey while furthering my education.”
Said Collin Hesse, Head Coach of the Division III team, “Grant adds speed and grit down the middle of the ice and will be involved early on in the season. The entire staff is excited to have him join our program.”
Ryan Hall will join the Razorbacks after one season at 18U Midget Major and three seasons playing high school
hockey. Most recently, the defenseman/forward played 20 games with HC Dallas. He recorded 2 goals and 4 assists for the team. Before joining HC Dallas, Hall spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Grapevine/Colleyville Hockey Team in the USHS. In 33 games with the team, the 6’3” 198 lb. defenseman/forward contributed 3 goals and 4 assists.
Hall explains that he was not only impressed by the hockey teams Arkansas has had in the past, but also the outstanding academics the University has to offer. “I chose to continue my hockey and academic career at the University of Arkansas because of the winning seasons and history of success they’ve had in the past, as well as the quality of the school. It is a great fit for me,” said Hall.
When discussing the coaching staff, Hall commented, “[they have] shown nothing but commitment and dedication to the players and the program. They express nothing but the best interest in the players and the program for its success. I believe that they will help me develop as player and as a better person.”
“Ryan caught our eye pretty early in the recruiting season because of his size,” said Coach Hesse. “Adding him to our blue line instantly makes us bigger and we look forward to him helping keep pucks out of the net.”
Tyler Valdron is also coming to Arkansas after spending last season with HC Dallas. While with HC Dallas, Valdron played in 15 games and recorded 6 assists. Prior to playing with HC Dallas, the 5’10” 160 lb. defenseman spent three seasons with McKinney High School Hockey Team. While there he appeared in 39 games and recorded 8 goals and 14 assists.
Valdron was drawn to Arkansas by the school’s excellent academics and athletic programs. When asked why he chose to continue his career at Arkansas, Valdron said, “After seeing the team excel with its multiple championships and bond they show together, I saw something I would love to be a part of.”
With regard to the upcoming season Valdron added, “I look forward most to being able to represent my school in various games and hopefully bring a national championship home.”
“Tyler helps to stabilize our blue line and I think he’s just as excited to get this season going as we are having him commit to this program,” said Coach Hesse.
Deacon, Hall, and Valdron bring the 2017-18 recruiting class to twenty-four players from nine different states and four countries. They join the following players:
F-Zach Hale (San Diego Sabers, WSHL)
F-Matt Hehr (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
F-Jiri Trubacik (Cheyenne Stampede, WSHL)
F-Konnor Madsen (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Andrew Pellegrino (Fresno Monsters, WSHL)
F-Sine Chadi (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Sam Weidenbaum (Decatur Blaze, USPHL)
F-Triston Wilson (Euless Stars, NA3HL)
F/D-Paiute Morrison (Southern Oregon Spartans, WSHL)
D-Jeffrey Colton Sands (La Crosse Freeze, NA3HL)
D- Cal Owens (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
D-Corey Rees (Long Beach Sharks, NA3HL)
D-Kyle Dudley (Euless Jr. Stars, NA3HL)
D-Shaun Foster (SUNY-Canton, NCAA)
D-Kenatae Medure (Atlanta Capitals, NA3HL)
G-Dalton Baker (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
G-Max Barr (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
G-Brock Thompson (Connecticut Nighthawks, EHL)
G-Rio Virgoe (Jersey Shore Wildcats, NA3HL)
G-Jozef Dusenka (Cheyenne Stampede, WSHL)
The University of Arkansas is the only SEC school to field two hockey teams. The Division I team has, since 2015, competed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here). The Division III team will in 2017-18 begin its eleventh season competing in the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here). All home games are played at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale.