Mavericks’ Lemos looks to build on solid rookie season

Bill Althaus
Kansas City Mavericks forward Bryan Lemos, right, races down ice followed by C.J. Eick during a Januray game against Idaho. Lemos tallied 31 points in his rookie season and re-signed with Kansas City earlier this week.

Bryan Lemos, who enjoyed a stellar rookie season with the Kansas City Mavericks last year, doesn’t have to worry about the pandemic shutting down his favorite gym.

That’s because it’s located in his family’s East Providence, R.I., garage.

“My dad, Bill, and I went out and got some weights and some 4-by-4s and built a sports rack in our garage, so I’m about 20 feet from my gym every morning,” Lemos said by phone Thursday. “We never have to worry about the pandemic shutting us down. And I have a group of about 15 friends that I’m skating with every week, so things are going as good as they can go with all this crazy pandemic stuff happening.

“I’m just looking so forward to getting back to Independence and getting together with the boys and getting ready for the season.”

Lemos, a 5-foot-10, 187-pound forward who played collegiately at Providence College, was a bright spot for the Mavericks last season. The 23-year-old tallied 31 points on 14 goals and 17 assists in 55 games in his first pro season. He was also one of the Mavericks’ most disciplined players, accumulating just 10 penalty minutes all season. He re-signed with Kansas City on Wednesday.

“Bryan brings a high hockey IQ with great speed, quickness and the ability to play a full 200-foot game,” Tad O’Had, new Mavericks head coach and director of hockey operations. “He had an exceptional rookie campaign and we continued to have great conversations this summer. He is a great fit for a high octane group of forwards.”

Much like Loren Ulett, who the team also signed this week, O’Had believes Lemos can be an important part of his first-ever Mavericks team.

“I watched a lot of tape on Bryan and really liked what I saw,” the coach said. “We’ve talked quite a bit and we’re all excited about the upcoming season.”

Lemos now just wants to get back on the ice with his teammates and help reverse last season’s disappointing 24-32-4-1 record.

“I can’t wait,” Lemos said. “I’ve been working so hard this off season because I think there are going to be a lot of players across the league who won’t be. They’re going to be wasting their time, and that could make or break a team. And I’ve talked to so many guys who can’t wait to get back to the arena and start working.

“Last season was so disappointing and I don’t think any of us know what really happened. But in the times I’d talked with Tad, I can tell he’s a personable guy and a players’ coach.

“He loves the game as much as we do and I can’t wait to get on the ice and show him what I can contribute to the team this season.”