The Saint Mary’s Huskies, and anybody else who wants a crack at the Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey title, have their hands full with the New Brunswick Varsity Reds.

The defending national men’s hockey champions have strengthened an already potent roster with eight big-name recruits and will be a force to be reckoned with.

“They probably had the best recruiting class anybody’s ever seen,” conceded Saint Mary’s Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg. “I commend them for it.”

The V-Reds added five major-junior forwards with 62 or more points last season, led by Cape Breton Screaming Eagles captain Chris Culligan, Taylor Procyshen (Tri-City), Nick Layton (Montreal), Daine Todd (Medicine Hat) and Jeff Lee (Edmonton). They also landed NHL draft picks Ben Shutron (Windsor) and Ben Wright (Lethbridge) on defence.

New Glasgow’s Matt Fillier, a Los Angeles Kings draft pick who had 38 points and 91 penalty minutes in 62 games as captain of the Montreal Junior last season, is another newcomer.

“You have to say on any given day any team can win, but on paper? They’re unreal,” Stienburg said.

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