Toledo, OH – Forward Justin Buzzeo (buzz-ee-oh) has agreed to terms with the Toledo Walleye for the 2019-20 season.
Buzzeo has spent the past two seasons in Europe including appearing in a total of 43 games this past season with 12 goals and 21 assists. The Windsor, Ontario native last played in the ECHL in the 2016-17 season when he split the year between Atlanta and Orlando. That season Buzzeo posted career highs scoring 19 goals with 44 assists in 69 games played. In 139 career ECHL games played he has 31 goals, 63 assists with 66 penalty minutes.
“Justin is a tremendous hockey player,” said Head Coach Dan Watson. “He has parlayed a strong college career into a terrific professional one that will make him a great asset for us.”
The 5’11”, 174 pound forward spent four years (2011-2015) at Ferris State University prior to turning professional. Buzzeo posted 68 points (29G, 39A) in 122 career game for the Bulldogs. His 32 points (14G, 18A) in 2013-14 tied for the team lead over 42 games. Twice Buzzeo landed on the WCHA All-Academic Team from 2013-2015.
GET TO KNOW JUSTIN
Q: What are your favorite memories growing up in Windsor?
A: My dad would take me to a lot of Spitfire games and a few Red Wings games. Getting dropped off at the ice park for drop-in hockey was always a lot of fun. I remember the first time I stepped onto the ice and fell in love with hockey.
Q: Who was your favorite player growing up?
A: Peter Forsberg. He was so skilled and played hard every shift. I’ve tried to pattern my game after him.
Q: As a teenager you played junior hockey in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, far away from home. How was tha experience?
A: It’s the coldest place on earth, but I had a great time there. I had a wonderful billet family which I keep in touch with. Brenden Kotyk was a teammate of mine at Humboldt. It was a long way from home, but I’m glad I went there, it’s a nice community.
Q: How was your time at Ferris State University?
A: I was a business/sports marketing major there. I had so many great teammates including guys who played in Toledo like Kyle Bonis and Simon Denis. Playing in the Frozen Four was an amazing experience. It’s a great program at Ferris.
Q: The past two seasons you played overseas in Europe. What did you take away from that?
A: I really enjoyed Austria, one of the nicest places I’ve ever been to. I also spent time in Germany, England and Slovakia. The lifestyle is very different in Europe, very relaxed. I really enjoyed taking walks and going sightseeing. I had lots of help from players to overcome language barriers and make it a good experience for me overall.
Q: How do you like to spend your time away from the rink?
A: I’ve spent time learning to play the guitar, but that’s on the back burner for now. I’m not much of a video game guy, but I do like to golf whenever I can.
Q: How have you been spending the off-season?
A: Working out and playing golf. I’m also working for a friend of mine in Windsor who started a company focused on youth hockey development. It’s a lot of fun helping young players to improve on their skills.
Q: Any pets?
A: No, but my wife is asking to get a dog. I’m sure we will at some point.
Q: Married with children?
A: No children, we recently got married. We’re planning to go to Aruba for our honeymoon before the season starts.
Q: What’s your go-to food?
A: Windsor pizza. There are some great restaurants in Windsor which make specialty pizzas, and when I take them to people out of town, they love it and ask for more.
Q: Thoughts on coming to Toledo?
A: Every guy I know who has played in Toledo says nothing but positive things about Toledo. It’s a first-class organization with a great building and amazing fans. Andy Delmore is well-known in Windsor, he and Coach Watson helped me to decide on signing with Toledo. It’s close to home so it’ll be nice for my family to be able to drive down and see me play.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a player?
A: I’m a quick and skilled player with good vision and I’ll do whatever it takes to help my team win.