As many predicted, the Saint John Sea Dogs have signed 19-year old defenseman Adam Bateman.
Bateman, listed at 5’11” and 190 lbs, was a first-round pick of the Niagara IceDogs in the 2011 OHL Draft but never played for the club. He has spent the past three seasons with the Windsor Spitfires where he scored seven goals and 22 assists in 163 games.
Bateman was put on waivers by the Spits and cleared them in July, making him a free agent.
“You try things,” Spitfires general manager Warren Rychel told the Windsor Star in July. “He’s a great kid on and off the ice, but he never got comfortable here. He needs a change.
“He was projected to do much more in the league, but you move on and try to get better and we thank him for everything he’s done for the organization.”
Last season, the Caledon, Ontario native registered a goal and seven assists in 43 games. The addition of Bateman gives the Sea Dogs some additional experience on what is shaping up to be a young defense core.
"We are excited to have a player of Adam's skill and experience join our organization," said Sea Dogs General Manager Darrell Young in a release. "Everything we have heard about his work ethic, his leadership and skill set makes us believe that he will be a solid role model and influence for our young defense. Adam is familiar with Atlantic Canada, and New Brunswick in particular, as his father's family is from Fredericton. That made it easier for him to commit to coming to Saint John."
The Sea Dogs’ news release also notes that Bateman and Mitchell Dempsey – whom the Dogs signed earlier this off-season – played together with Team Ontario at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Saint John’s training camp begins on Monday. Their first pre-season game is one week from tonight against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Harbour Station.