The Kitmart Dundee Stars are delighted to confirm the signing of defenseman, Kyle Haas for the 2021-2022 Elite League campaign.

The 27-year-old comes to Dundee with a reputation of being someone who will stand up for his teammates and who likes to play a tough and physical game, which earned him the nickname of “The Sheriff” during his time with Fort Wayne Komets.

Following a year off between his last season with the Komets in the East Coast Hockey League, the Calgary, Alberta native ended that year on a high after being selected as the Komets’ Most Improved Player.

The 6-foot-2-inch blueliner was also the ECHL’s most penalised player in the 2019-2020 season, spending 164 minutes in the sin bin.

Weighing in at 220lbs, the left-handed defender has also played alongside a familiar face from Dundee, when back in 2011 he was a teammate of former Star, Brett Stovin.

 

Picture by: Josh Gales.

 

Stars General Manager and Head Coach, Omar Pacha is excited to add such a physical and steady presence at the back end and he said: “Through this whole process I really wanted to get a shutdown defenseman, a really tough blueliner and we found that in Kyle.

“I thought in the last few years, we have really been missing a bit of toughness at the back, so I really wanted to make sure we got that this year, and as you can see that is what we are going for from the signings so far.

“I am really happy to have Kyle joining us, because he will play a big role for us this year and will be tough to play against.”

Pacha continued: “This is a guy, who I think will become the player I know he can be this year, which is a steady and reliable defenseman.

“You always need a few of those guys on your team and I really like the fact that he is tough and hard to play against and he is not afraid to mix it up.”

After sealing his first move to Europe, a delighted Kyle said: “I was actually interested in coming to Dundee as soon as I graduated from University in 2019.

“The way I heard about Dundee was through a good friend of mine, Eric Neilson, he played with Omar in Manchester and had nothing but good things to say about Omar and the city of Dundee.

“Eric and I have similar playing styles and he really believed that my playing style would fit right into the league and be a valuable piece to the Stars.

“Obviously, I was not able to come over to Dundee right away, but I was given a really good opportunity to play for the Fort Wayne Komets in the ECHL.

“This gave me time to develop my game at the professional level, then fast forward two years and my agent called me and said Dundee were interested in signing me.

“I was ecstatic that Omar and the Stars organisation was interested in me and believed I could play a vital role in bringing Dundee a championship.

“Omar also made the off-ice opportunities as appealing as the on-ice ones by mentioning I could gain a Master’s Degree from the prestigious University of Dundee.

“All in all, I was pretty quick to asking where do I sign?”

The Canadian then explained his decision to take a year out from hockey during the pandemic, he said: “Unfortunately, I did not play this past season but I was not the only player that was in these circumstances.

“There were a lot of factors that played into my decision of not playing but the biggest one was due to the uncertainty of the ECHL season being able to finish and my new sales job that offered stability and a way to pay for my medical supplies since I am a type 1 diabetic.

“This was the first year I have not played hockey since I was about eight years old and I really missed the game that I was used to playing every day.

“Most of all I missed being able to see the guys on my team day in and day out.

“When this opportunity of playing for the Stars presented itself it was a no brainer for me, as I feel like I have a lot more to give to this great game.”

Haas continued: “I like to consider myself an ultra-competitive person and since I did not play hockey this year I needed a place to take out my competitive frustration which led me back to another passion of mine; boxing.

“I actually trained a heavy schedule this past year under my boxing coach Dave Furneaux, who is actually from the UK.

“I was planning on taking my first fight this summer but COVID made it very complicated to get a promotion to hold an event in Atlantic Canada.

“I can thank boxing for keeping me in great shape and the Fredericton Boxing Club for being tough on me and preparing me for this upcoming season.

“And who knows, maybe I can have my first fight in Scotland during the off-season next year?”

 

 

Haas then shared how Pacha convinced him to join the Stars and how a former Star has been pivotal in his move to Scotland.

He explained: “Obviously hearing him put in the work, watching video on me and really appreciating the way I play the game goes a long way with me.

“He thinks I can be a very valuable piece with the Stars to winning a championship and there is nothing more a player can want than having his head coach believe in his ability.

“There are also certain qualities he wants in his players that I truly take pride in.

“Work ethic, leadership, and all around great character people are the teammates I want to be surrounded by and if we can achieve that then we can really do something special.”

“Eric Neilson is one of those guys that had a huge factor in getting me to sign with Dundee and there was also Justin Faryna, who I always looked up to when I was a kid”, continued Kyle.

“Justin is a couple years older than me and I was always at his games growing up since my dad always seemed to be his head coach in minor hockey.

“Justin is also a huge ambassador for the Dundee Stars and played a big role in giving me all the information I need before heading to Scotland.”

 

Picture by: Josh Gales.

 

Kyle’s career started back in 2009, when he was playing for Edge School, a preparatory school in Calgary and over his two seasons there, he played in 31 games, scored two goals and assisted 11 times.

Then in 2011, he joined the Calgary Mustangs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for six games, before beginning the 2011-2012 season with Western Hockey League club, Saskatoon Blades.

In his only WHL campaign, Haas iced in 47 matches and accumulated four points (1G+3A), along with 106 penalty minutes but would switch to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League that summer.

The Canadian began the following season with Moncton Wildcats and would spend the next two years defending the Wildcats goal, the second as an alternate captain

Haas scored and assisted twice in his first 43-game campaign and totalled 87 penalty minutes, before scoring 10 points (1G+9A) and spending 126 minutes in the box during the 2013-2014 campaign.

The defender then spent one season with Canadian side, Woodstock Slammers in the Maritime Hockey League, where he scored 13 points (4G+9A) and racked up 82 penalty minutes in 41 appearances.

In 2015, Kyle then committed to the University of Windsor for the next four years and iced in a total of 122 for the Lancers.

During his college career, Haas recorded 17 points (1G+16A) and 120 penalty minutes, while also being appointed alternate captain in 2017-2018 and then promoted to captain during his senior year.

The Canadian-born-German then made his professional debut in 2019, when he joined Fort Wayne and in his only ECHL season, he scored two goals, assisted nine times and totalled the league leading 164 penalty minutes from 45 matches.

Therefore, in his career so far, Haas has featured in 384 matches, scored 13 goals, assisted 57 times and has collected 770 penalty minutes.

 

Picture by: Josh Gales.

 

Kyle is our eighth signing of the summer and joins Drydn Dow, Craig Garrigan, Kris Inglis, Alexandre Ranger, Connor Sills, Craig Moore and Brett Orr on the roster for next season.

You can get your season tickets to watch these eight players and the rest of the team in the 2021-2022 campaign by contacting: [email protected]

Haas will wear the #25 Stars jersey next season.

To view Kyle’s career stats on Elite Prospects click HERE.

 

Featured & Banner Images: Josh Gales

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Dundee Stars Team
48 Games
18 Wins
27 Losses
3 OT Losses
39 Points