Posted: Nov 25, 2009
Caria, 6-foot-0, 201 pounds, played five seasons in the OHL, and was tied as the league's fourth leading scorer with Vancouver Canucks first round pick Cody Hodgson last season, ahead of such players as Ryan Ellis, Matt Duchene and Nazem Kadri. The Soo native started the 2008-09 season with his hometown Greyhounds before being traded to the Plymouth Whalers. He posted 34 goals, 58 assists and 92 points over 67 games played between the two teams.
This season, Caria has played 12 games for the Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL and registered 11 points in those 12 games.
A left-shooting playmaker, Caria attended the Columbus Blue Jackets development camp in June 2009, eventually earning an invite to the squad's rookie and main camps in September. Caria had previously attended the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects camp in 2007.
The scrappy centre joins an already potent Lakehead Thunderwolves attack that has ranked among the OUA's elite goal-scoring teams for the entire 2009-10 season. Scherban says will be a game-changer for the Thunderwolves.
"We are extremely excited that Matt has chosen to attend Lakehead University and play for the Thunderwolves. Matt is an extremely skilled playmaker, as evidenced by his 92 points in the OHL last season, who will make an immediate impact in the CIS."
At Lakehead, Caria will join former Greyhounds teammate Arron Alphonso, along with friend, and fellow Soo native Jordan Smith on the Thunderwolves roster. Caria says that his familiarity with some of his teammates, and his discussions with coach Scherban and Wolves scout Larry Bone helped him make his decision to attend Lakehead.
"Joel and Larry always presented the school and the community very well whenever I talked with them," Caria says. "It seemed like the right fit both terms of school and hockey. It's a northern atmosphere, and I'm an outdoors guy, so I felt right at home in Thunder Bay."
Caria says that the lure of competing for a CIS University Cup also attracted him to the Thunderwolves.
"Coming to Lakehead, I know I'm going to a team where the fans are really involved and fill the arena every night. Hopefully this year at nationals I can do as much as I can to give the team and the community a championship."
Source: Lakehead Thunderwolves