Odessa, Texas (JAN 7, 2015) – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League, have officially traded forward Oliver Celec to the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) for defenseman Ben DiMaio.
DiMaio, 19, appeared in four games with Des Moines after being traded from the Omaha Lancers (USHL) on December 8, where he appeared in 19 games with the Lancers collecting one point (0 goals, 1 assist). DiMaio a Pembroke, MA, native will join Jacks goaltender Dean Shatzer as Odessa’s two Dartmouth College (NCAA, D1) commits. DeMaio, is a 6’2” 188 lb., left-handed defenseman. Des Moines acquired DeMaio from Omaha for a 9th round pick in the 2016 USHL Phase II Draft.
“We know that Benny is going in to Dartmouth, and we felt he had to get some traction. Talking with Dartmouth and Greg Gatto, who’s got an opportunity for a puck-moving D, it seemed like a good fit,” said Bucs Head Coach, Dave Allison.
Celec, a Gothenburg, Sweden, native appeared in 27 games for Odessa collecting 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists), a +1 rating and 41 PIM. Celec, who is committed to Niagara (NCAA, D1) in 2017-18, will join former Jack Kenny Hausinger, who leads the Bucs with 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 29 games with a -7 rating. The Bucs (13-14-2) have won two straight and are currently seventh in the Western Conference of the USHL.
"Oliver provided some great offensive depth and skill, his speed and shot are evident when you watch him play, and his work ethic is off the charts. He constantly was one of the first players on the ice and one of the last off of it. We wish him the best of luck moving forward with his hockey career, and we appreciate his devotion to the Odessa Jackalopes as an organization," said Head Coach, Greg Gatto
The Jacks and Buccaneers connection goes beyond Celec, DiMaio and Hausinger. Odessa forward Jon Russell appeared in five games for Des Moines this year before being released, and Jacks defenseman Andrew McLean and forward Derek Brown was in Des Moines camp this summer.
Odessa won’t return to Ector County Coliseum until January 29-30 when they host the Lone Star Brahmas for a pair of games. The Jacks travel to Lone Star this weekend for the first time after splitting a two-game series over the weekend with the Brahmas.
In 2015-16, the Odessa Jackalopes will embark upon their fifth season in the North American Hockey League and 19th in the Permian Basin. Season tickets are on sale now! To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.
Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all year long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.