Brian Shantz started playing hockey in Fort McMurray at the age of five. In his first year of Midget aged hockey he scored an incredible 40 goals and added 65 assist in only 24 games.
He would eventually play for the hometown Junior “A” Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League starting in 1985. In 1987-1988 Shantz was fourth in league scoring with 34 goals and 80 assists while playing 57 games.
His talents did not go unnoticed, signing with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League for the 1988-1989 season. The following season the Blazers would make it to the Memorial Cup, which was won by the Oshawa Generals.
During his tenure with the Blazers, Shantz scored 33 goals and added 53 assist in 62 games (1988-1989) and netted 39 goals while recording 75 assists in 71 games (1980-1990).
Shantz re-joined the Oil Barons in 1990-1991 and would play in the AJHL All-Star Game, in a season where he scored 26 goals and added 55 assists to finish third in the league scoring race.
In 1992 Shantz turned pro, signing with the Erie Panthers of the ECHL. During the next 12 years he would pack and unpack while wearing the sweaters of 14 different franchises….including a stint in Italy.
It may sound like a lot of teams but you must add into the equation that Shantz also played for four different teams – Edmonton Sled Dogs, Oakland Skates, Oklahoma Coyotes and Vancouver Voodoo – in the professional Roller Hockey League.
The majority of his career though was spent with the San Antonio Iguanas of the Central Hockey League where he played from 1994-1996 and 1998-2001. He also played 26 games with the San Antonio Dragons of the International Hockey League in 1996-1997.
In Iguanas uniform he won back-to-back Ken McKenzie Trophy’s for the top scorer in CHL.
From his centre position, the 5’9” dynamo scored 39 goals and added 80 assists during 66 games in 1994-1995.
He followed that up with 54 goals and 85 assists in 64 games in 1995-1996 (still the CHL scoring record), a season in which he was awarded the Bill Levins Trophy for CHL MVP.
Shantz, 41, currently resides in San Antonio where he continues to develop the sport of hockey while also holding a career as a real estate agent.
Of his induction, Shantz said, “Being inducted into the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame is a tremendous honour. Playing for the Oil Barons and being inducted to their Hall of Fame (2007) was always a childhood dream and was a stepping stone to playing professional hockey. I am excited to return to Fort McMurray and very proud to be named one of the inductee’s for 2011.”
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