Who will take the gamble on Chiarello?

By Jessica Haskin
Gene Chiarello has had quite a successful junior and college career as
to date but has never gotten his chance to play with the pro’s.

Chiarello played his juniors with the London Knights of the OHL and
posted save percentages of .844, .906, and .908 on a team that had
little defense.

Chiarello, Tom Kostopoulos, and John Erskine led the team to the OHL
finals in ’99, the furthest the Knights had ever made it in the history
of the team. Chiarello backed the team making up to 60 saves some

He was invited to Buffalo’s training camp in ’99 but was released and
went back to the Knights. He went to the Columbus Blue Jackets rookie
camp and was hoping he might be able to crack the line up there.
Although he had a good camp he was released, unable to get into the Blue
Jackets system already containing six goalies.

What is the reason that so many teams have passed over him? Is it his
“losing” record? Is it his willingness to take that gamble, diving way
out of his net for the puck? Will playing with the Varsity Reds of
the University of New Brunswick and a winning record help some pro
teams to take that second glance?

Chiarello has played every game this season with the Varsity Red’s. He
had a shaky start but now has a six game run without a loss.

“He’s been a real good addition for our hockey club” said Coach Gardiner

He came in as a freshman and has responded very well to the new players
and the difference in the game. He continues to get better with every

game he plays.

The Atlantic division selects their best players from every position to
form a team to go play a tournament in Poland. Chiarello is being
strongly considered for the goaltender position and with the strong game
he has had of late he should be in Poland soon.

If he continues to impress his current coach he’ll also impress the
scouts. Until then he’ll continue his education and hockey career in
New Brunswick.