PHOTO: Canmore's Adamu Tanaka will be joining the Canmore Eagles full time for the 2015-16 AJHL season. (Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)

The Canmore Eagles are pleased to announce that 17-year-old Canmore native Adamu Tanaka has agreed to join the Alberta Junior Hockey League club for the 2015-16 hockey season.

Tanaka, a 5’10, 170 lb defenceman, played for the Calgary Buffaloes of the Alberta Midget AAA League last season and registered four goals and 12 assists in 30 games and was named to the league’s 2nd all-star team.

“We are very excited to have Adamu join our club as a 17-year-old,” said Canmore Eagle Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “We called Adamu up for four AJHL games last season and he played very well picking up two assists in the process. He sees the ice very well, is a strong skater, and does a good job of making the first pass out of the defensive zone.

“This a great year for Adamu to join the Eagles as we have a very strong group of veteran defenceman returning next season, so this should allow him the opportunity to adjust to the pace of the AJHL without too much pressure. Adamu could have a four-year career in the AJHL and we look forward to watching him progress as the years go by.”

For Tanaka, the opportunity to play Junior A hockey in his hometown of Canmore is an added bonus.

“I was born and raised in Canmore and grew up watching the Eagles play, so this is a big honour for me to have the opportunity to play here,” said Tanaka. “I know a few of the players on the team already, so I’m excited for training camp to begin and the season to start.”

When asked about his expectations for his first year in the AJHL, Tanaka was very modest.

“From my four games in the AJHL last season, I know that the pace is faster, the bodies are bigger, and the hitting is much more intense,” said Tanaka. “Í don’t have any real expectations for my first year. I just want to develop my skills as a player, get adjusted to the pace, fit in with the team, and do everything I can to help the club. My ultimate goal is to earn an NCAA scholarship down the road so I need to take it year by year, listen to the coaches, and work extremely hard.”

The Eagles training camp will open on Thursday, August 27.