By Dan McCaffery
Curtis Crombeen is coming home.
General manager Bob Williamson announced Thursday the Sarnia Legionnaires have signed Crombeen, a former Ontario Hockey League first round draft pick, to a contract.
Crombeen, a defenceman, played four years in the OHL with Owen Sound and Plymouth. Prior to that, as a 15-year-old midget callup, he helped the Legionnaires win the 2009 Western Ontario Hockey Conference championship.
Legionnaires head coach Dan Rose predicts Crombeen will be a team leader.
"Curtis has been around hockey a long time,” Rose said. “He comes from a hockey family and he's very knowledgeable.”
On top of that, he “brings a tremendous amount of skill, speed and maturity,”
Legionnaire goalie Sean Parker said, “Curtis is a great addition. He's going to be the top defenceman in the league, I guarantee it. I played with him in minor pee wee on up and he's a great guy to have in the room too.”
Crombeen, a Sarnia native, said after suffering a number of major injuries that required surgeries to correct, he's looking forward to “a little more relaxed hockey. It's fun to be back here. It's a little more comfortable coming here. I stayed in touch with them (the Legionnaires) and skated with them (during summer months).”
He added winning a championship with the Legionnaires five years ago is “a great memory.”
Crombeen, who is attending Lambton College, said he looks forward to passing some of his knowledge on to the younger players.
In 127 Major Jr. 'A' contests Crombeen had four goals and 21 assists.
He stands 5'11 and weighs in at 180 pounds.
Playing with the Lambton Jr. Sting 'AAA' minor midget squad five years ago, Crombeen had 11 goals and 43 assists in 69 games. That spring, after being called up by the Legionnaires, he had a goal and four assists in 17 Jr. 'B' playoff contests.