Two former Pioneers head to Europe
The Park City Pioneers continue to send players overseas to advance their hockey careers. This time, Dane Ludolph and Braxton Green are the two players heading abroad.
Ludolph, who scored 38 points in just 24 games with Park City before heading to Australia, will join HC Detva in Slovakia next season.
Meanwhile, Green, who has played parts of three seasons with the Pioneers after finishing up his collegiate seasons at Weber State University, will travel to Finland to join Hela-Kiekko. Green played 12 games with the Pioneers over the past three seasons, amassing 17 points.
Pioneers Captain and General Manager David Imonti said he’s happy to see Ludolph and Green take the next steps in their professional careers.
"Dane was a guy who came over last year after spending some time in Europe prior to that," he said. "He came over here and put up some good numbers and used it as an opportunity to go to Australia. He’s leading his team in scoring over there right now.
"Braxton has played with us every year when his [college] season’s ended. He’s a great kid. He’s going to Finland and hoping to start a decent career over there."
Imonti, who owns his own hockey agency called 37 Hockey, LLC, said he’s happy to use his professional contacts to help draw top players to Park City and help current Pioneers advance their careers.
"Obviously, having my contacts doesn’t hurt," he said. "But we’ve been fortunate to use that to get some of our guys to leagues they wouldn’t have gone to otherwise."
The pipeline from Park City to the rest of the world has been strong in the Pioneers’ five years of existence.
"We’ve had like 17 guys who have moved up to a professional level from the Pioneers," Imonti said. "That’s pretty good and it might start attracting some more guys that will choose to play for us."
Imonti hopes the Pioneers will continue to attract top talent after joining the Black Diamond Hockey League, which will pit Park City against other ski resort towns like Jackson Hole, Bozeman and Sun Valley.
"In the future, as a whole, I think the entire league will help us to recruit some better players and players who have higher aspirations in their careers," he said. "The ‘less games, higher quality’ philosophy will help that a little bit. Guys will take it a bit more seriously."
Park City’s first home game of the 2014-15 season will be on Friday, Oct. 31, at 8:15 p.m. against the Jackson Hole Moose.
The Park City High School baseball team was knocked out of the Class 4A playoffs on May 15 when they lost to Bear River 8-6.