After trading away Brendan Hill to Kenai River last week, the Maryland Black Bears restocked their defensive cabinet by signing two defensemen and a goalie, as Dylan Finlay, Philip Tornqvist, and Hannes Kollen signed with the team on Tuesday.
Dylan Finlay joins the Black Bears after spending last season with the Powell River Kings. In the BCHL, Finlay had 18 assists in 40 regular season games and one assist in five playoff matches. The left-shot defenseman from L’ile Bizard, Quebec also had quite the resume at the AAA level with 54 assists and 62 points in 87 games with the Lac St-Louis Lions. Finlay is another University of Vermont commit on the Black Bears, as he’ll join teammate and future classmate Luke Mountain.
The other rearguard is Philip Tornqvist, who does have some NAHL experience with the Aberdeen Wings last season, registering a goal in seven games, while also playing in the USHL for two games with the Fargo Force. Tornqvist had been playing with the Rogle HK J20 squad in Sweden with three goals and nine points in 16 games. The UMass-Amherst commit came from the Frolunda youth program before setting out to Karlskrona in 2018.
Another Swede to the mix is Hannes Kollen, a goalie who also came up from the Frolunda youth program and then moved to Karlskrona, where he is 1-3-0 this season on the J20 team. Kollen’s numbers were solid when playing with the Frolunda squad, but since leaving there; he has had some rough patches. However, he was tendered by the Black Bears in the spring and the talent and upside is there for him to succeed in the NAHL.
Sweden has shut down most of their hockey leagues and for players like Tornqvist and Kollen, you have to believe it was a deciding factor to move overseas to play– especially for Tornqvist, who will be playing in the NCAA next season. Finlay was in a similar holding pattern with the BCHL’s delayed start to the season, but needing to get some reps in before going to Vermont, the door in Maryland was open for him to come over.
No word on whether we will see any of these three in the line-up for this weekend, but we hope for big things moving forward with these new Black Bears.