Brampton Beast sign top scorer David Vallorani

Last season’s leading scorer returns to give a boost to the team.

The Brampton Beast announced on Saturday that they have re-signed last season’s leading scorer David Vallorani.

Vallorani scoried 32 goals and added 51 assists for 83 points with the team in 2016-17, and was tied for fourth in the ECHL scoring race. He earned a trip to the All-Star Classic as well as being named to the Second All-Star Team.

The Beast qualified Vallorani in the summer, retaining his ECHL rights, but he decided to signed a one-year contract with Almtuna IS of the Swedish Allsvenskan league instead, returning to Europe where he played from 2014 to 2016.

With Almtuna IS, Vallorani played 23 games, scoring three goals and adding 11 assists. But things were not working out socially in Sweden for Vallorani’s family, which was the main reason given for the sudden news that he was leaving the club and returning to Canada.

“It wasn’t a good fit,” Vallorani told the Upsala Nya Tidning. “Sometimes you feel you’re just not in the right place.”

The top scorer so far for the Beast this season is team captain Brandon Marino with seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points. His winger, Chris Leveille, has 19 points. There is a dropoff after those two at the top, although former Toronto Marlies captain Alex Foster has been producing at a point-per-game pace in his 10 games so far.

The Beast will surely welcome Vallorani back with open arms, hoping that he can find the scoring touch of last season. As he doesn’t qualify as a veteran player, no major roster moves are needed to accommodate his addition.

Vallorani’s presence will automatically give a boost to a team that had a difficult start to the season, but has gone 7-2-0-1 in its last 10 games. Unfortunately, that only brings the Beast up to a .500 points percentage, good enough for only fifth place in the competitive North Division.

The Beast have not been able to count on any support from their parent club Montreal Canadiens for the majority of the season thus far. Obviously Montreal has dealt with a rash of injuries and personnel issues that required the call-up of all ECHL talent, but the fact that the Laval Rocket are still keeping three goaltenders is pretty telling as to the team’s current relationship with Brampton.

It has been the Ottawa Senators who have stepped up and provided most of the AHL talent thus far, and appear all but officially to be the primary affiliation for the Beast, despite the ECHL not allowing double affiliations anymore.

It’s Ottawa goaltending prospect Marcus Hogberg who is playing a large chunk of the games for the Beast, rather than Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven, although Zachary Fucale did play two out of three games last week before returning to Laval.

The Beast play their next game on Sunday, December 10 against the Worcester Railers, which will be the annual Teddy Bear Toss event, as well as the expected season debut for Vallorani.

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