The Steinbach Pistons would like to thank defenceman Caydin Cleland for all of his contributions, both on the ice and in our communities, over three memorable seasons.
Cleland signed with the Steinbach Pistons out of the Rink Hockey Academy U18 Prep program in the summer of 2018, where he was the captain of his team. As a rookie defenceman in 2018-19, the Medicine Hat, Alberta native skated in 46 games for Steinbach, registering a goal and 10 assists. He played in all 12 playoff games that season which is a rarity for a first-year d-man on the Pistons, and was rewarded for his play by being named the team’s Most Improved Player.
Cleland grew his game the following year and played most of the season on a pairing with Declan Graham. He put up a goal and 13 points in 53 games played in 2019-20, led the team with 80 PIMs, and was honoured with the Pistons True Grit award for his team-first attitude, competitive spirit, and his physical play despite being undersized at his position. Through eight games into his final junior season, Cleland did not register a point but played big minutes for the league’s second-best penalty kill unit in 2020-21 and played extremely well.
He was also very involved in Steinbach and the surrounding towns in southeast Manitoba, whether it was helping referee Pistons ball hockey tournaments in the summer or being with students in their classroom helping them read or do their schoolwork.
“We will miss the passion that Cleo brought to the rink and the edge that he played with,“ Head Coach Paul Dyck said of Cleland. “Pound for pound, he was one of the strongest players and hardest hitters we have seen here. His excellent mobility really allowed him to defend extremely well. He became a very good puck mover as he developed over the past three years.
“We noticed a growth in his confidence coming into this season, and it showed in his play. He was one of the more popular players in our room and amongst our fans, and he will be missed.”
Thank you Caydin! We wish you and your family all the best for the future!