AMARILLO, TX – For the 2nd time in franchise history, the Amarillo Bulls will have brother combinations playing for them, but this time its twin brothers.
The Bulls announced today they have tendered forward Justin Michaelian and defenseman Brendon Michaelian (pronounced MIC-KAL-Lian)for the 2016-17 season. The twin brothers, who hail from Wixom, Michigan, are the third and fourth players to ink tenders by the Bulls Coaching Staff. The two have also powered Victory Honda to the U18 National Championships in April in San Jose, California.
Forward Justin Michaelian, 18, just completed his first season with the Victory Honda U18 program in the Tier I Elite Hockey League, and finished second on the team in scoring with 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points in 32 games.
The Michaelian brothers are thrilled to take the next step in their hockey careers and play for a quality organization like the Bulls that has a track record of moving players on to the next level.
“I’m excited to be playing my junior hockey in Amarillo,” said Justin Michaelian. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about the organization, the coaching staff and how they treat their players. It’s good to see all of the hard work finally paying off.”
Amarillo Bulls Head Coach Matt Nicholson is thrilled to add these brothers to the line-up for next season.
“Justin caught our eye due to his size and skating ability as well as his hockey IQ,” said Nicholson. “He played a prominent role for the Victory Honda U18 Team coached by the Bulls Scouting Director Brian Burke. Victory Honda has been a perennial top 3 team all season long, and anytime you can add a team like Justin to your team with a winning pedigree is a positive.”
Offense has never been a problem for Justin Michaelian as prior to this season, he notched 11 points in 33 games with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U18 program. The power forward also spent time with the Victory Honda U16 team where he had 19 points in 35 games.
Michaelian said he can contribute in a variety of ways to the team.
“I can do whatever the coach asks me to do from putting pucks into the net to playing a physical style of play,” he said. “I want to be the total team player.”
Brendon Michaelian, 18, is a defenseman who had 12 points in 32 games with Victory Honda U18 team. In 2014-15 with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies (Tier I Elite Hockey League), the 5-10, 165-pound rearguard picked up one goal and eight assists for nine points in 31 games. Brendon Michaelian said it will be great to be able to continue to play hockey with his brother.
“It means the absolute world to us to be able to play together and it’s hard to put into words,” he said. “We do absolutely everything together from going to school, hanging out with friends, so to be able to continue to play hockey at the next level together is fantastic.”
Brendon Michaelian said he hopes to be a major contributor on the defensive side of the puck for the Bulls.
“I’ve pride myself of being a defensive defenseman,” he said. “If I get an opportunity to contribute points then I can do that, but I’ve always been concerned about playing defense and keeping the puck out of our zone.”
Matt Nicholson said Brendan Michaelian will strengthen the Bulls defensive corps even more.
“Brendan is a defenseman that moves the puck, defends well and can contribute on the offensive side of the game by getting his shots through the point,” he explained. “He possesses a hard and heavy shot that can increase our production from the back end similar to the defense we have in the line-up this year.”
“It is a unique opportunity to have a sibling combination on a hockey team but especially in this case when they are twin brothers. Playing together wasn’t a be-all end-all situation. It was an intriguing opportunity that we are glad they accepted.”
Justin and Brendon Michaelian join forwards Brendan Walkom and Luke Edgerton as tendered players for the 2016-17 season for the Amarillo Bulls.
The regular season home finale for the Amarillo Bulls is set for Friday, Mar. 25 and Saturday, Mar. 26 versus the Lone Star Brahmas at 7 pm. Friday is Amarillo College and The Music Texas night with free tickets for High School Seniors. Fans who come out early on Saturday night can get a free Puck The Pig Piggy Bank courtesy of The People’s Federal Credit Union. The Bulls will wear special jerseys to mark their 400th game in the North American Hockey League. Fans can win one by purchasing a ticket for just $5 to support Amarillo Youth Hockey. The drawing takes place on the ice after the game on Saturday night.
Game tickets for the weekend series can be purchased at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates, Corporate Marketing Partnerships or 2016-17 season tickets please call 806-242-1122.