Dan Watson returns as Toledo Walleye’s head coach

The Toledo Walleye on Thursday announced Dan Watson has signed a three-year contact to remain head coach of the hockey club.
“I’m excited to stay in Toledo and continue to grow as a coach,” says Watson. “The last five years here in this great hockey city we’ve put together a product that people can be proud of.”
Watson returns for his fourth season as head coach after leading the Walleye to its first-ever appearance in the ECHL Kelly Cup Finals, losing in six games to Newfoundland.
“It was tense and stressful, but a great experience that’ll only make me better as a coach,” says Watson. “Now I’m hungry. Recruiting is in full swing to build another team to have success and take the next step of bringing a championship back to Toledo.”
Toledo Walleye General Manager Neil Neukam is pleased to have Watson back.
“He’s been through the thick and thin of all 10 seasons of Toledo Walleye hockey,” says Neukam. “His record as head coach speaks for itself. He’s done a great job building competitive teams and getting players ready to take the next step in their careers.”
In three seasons as head coach Watson has compiled a regular season record of 141-57-11-7 while capturing the 2017 Brabham Cup for best regular season record in the ECHL. For Watson, this will be his twelfth season in Toledo, after finishing his playing career with the Toledo Storm during the 2006-07 season and serving as assistant coach for seven seasons with the Walleye.

Signees for next season
Defenseman Mike Moffat returns to the Toledo Walleye for the 2019-20 season as one of four signees.
Moffat, a native of Waterloo, Ontario, joined Toledo on March 1 for his pro debut playing in 10 games while collecting four assists. Since 2014, the 26-year-old defenseman has appeared in a total of 128 games with the University of Waterloo accruing 25 goals, 63 assists and 89 penalty minutes. Moffat posted a college best 10 goals in the 2015-16 season when he also set a high in assists with 17 and points (27).
“We really liked Mike’s game from what we saw late in the year,” said Watson. “He fits right in with the style we want to play.”
Prior to his colligate days, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound defenseman spent four years in the Ontario Hockey League between London and Kingston. Moffat posted 120 points (17G, 103A) with 225 penalty minutes in 238 career games.
Forward Brett Boeing and defenseman Connor Schmidt have agreed to terms with the Walleye for the 2019-20 season.
Schmidt joined the Walleye during last season (signed on December 26, 2018) after appearing in 16 games for Huntsville in the SPHL where he scored nine goals with four assists and 38 penalty minutes. With Toledo, the 25-year-old skated in 27 games for the Walleye with a pair of goals plus a pair of assists to go along with 38 penalty minutes. He also played as a plus six for Toledo. Prior to his pro career, Schmidt spent four years in college with two years at Ferris State while one each at Arizona State and Utica. In 83 colligate games, he scored five goals with 17 assists and 120 penalty minutes.
“We saw what Connor can do during his time with us last season and we can see the growth and potential he has,” said Watson. “Brett is coming off of a career best season in college and should be a nice player up front for the Walleye.”
Boeing joins Toledo after completing his college career at UMass-Amherst that included career highs with 41 games played this past season, 10 goals and nine assists while playing as a plus 12. His efforts helped the Minutemen to the Hockey East Regular Season Championships. The 5-8, 187 pound forward started his college days playing one season at Michigan Tech in 2015-16. In total, he appeared in 101 college games with 37 points (14G, 23A) and 52 penalty minutes.
Forward Justin Buzzeo has agreed to terms with the Walleye.
Buzzeo has spent the past two seasons in Europe including appearing in a total of 43 games this past season with 12 goals and 21 assists. The Windsor, Ontario native last played in the ECHL in the 2016-17 season when he split the year between Atlanta and Orlando. That season Buzzeo posted career highs scoring 19 goals with 44 assists in 69 games played. In 139 career ECHL games played he has 31 goals, 63 assists with 66 penalty minutes.
“Justin is a tremendous hockey player,” said Watson. “He has parlayed a strong college career into a terrific professional one that will make him a great asset for us.”
The 5-11, 174-pound forward spent four years (2011-2015) at Ferris State University prior to turning professional. Buzzeo posted 68 points (29G, 39A) in 122 career game for the Bulldogs. His 32 points (14G, 18A) in 2013-14 tied for the team lead over 42 games. Twice Buzzeo landed on the WCHA All-Academic Team from 2013-2015.
The defending Western Conference Champion Toledo Walleye return to the Huntington Center on Saturday, November 2, for their 2019-20 home opening weekend. Last season Toledo sold-out 31 or 36 regular season games averaging more than 7,700 fans per game.  Game Plans are on sale now.  Call 419-725-9255 or online at www.toledowalleye.com.  #OurFishOurFight


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