A former Prince George Cougar, who also happens to be the team’s best goal-scorer in history, has decided to fly back across the Atlantic to play two steps below the NHL.
Chase Witala has signed a one-year deal to play for the Jacksonville Icemen in the ECHL, the minor ‘AA’ affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, after suiting up for the Rosenheim Starbulls in Germany’s third-tier level of professional hockey.
The Prince George product put up solid numbers overseas, scoring a total of 68 points in 56 games in those two seasons, which included 27 goals.
This won’t be the 24-year-old’s first appearance in the ECHL, however.
Witala played a full season with the Orlando Solar Bears in 2016-17, Toronto Maple Leafs’ farm team at the time, putting up 19 points in 46 games.
He was a scoring machine in the Cougars line-up from 2011 to 2016, lighting the lamp 120 times to currently hold the team’s all-time goals record.
Witala accomplished that feat in 302 games, the fourth-most among Prince George players, and also has the second-most points in the team’s 25-year history at 239.
He took the Cougars to the Western Hockey League (WHL) playoffs in his final two years.