Edmonton Elks sign three players including Canadian RB Jean-Paul Cimankinda

Photo courtesy: Ottawa Gee-Gees

The Edmonton Elks have signed a trio of players, including Canadian running back Jean-Paul Cimankinda, American defensive lineman Jordan Fletcher, and American defensive back TJ Newell II.

Cimankinda was selected by the Elks in the seventh round of the 2022 CFL Draft but was released after playing in a pair of preseason games. He returned to the Ottawa Gee-Gees for his final season of U Sports eligibility and put up 976 yards and two touchdowns on 159 carries.

The Ottawa native ranked second among U Sports running backs, averaging 122 yards per game and was named a second-team U Sports All-Canadian.

Fletcher spent the last four seasons in of NCAA Division III football at Western Connecticut State where he registered 73 solo tackles with 36 assists and 27.5 tackles for a loss. He played in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) for the London Beefeaters of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC), earning an All-Canadian selection, along with being named the OFC’s Outstanding Defensive Player and Outstanding Defensive Lineman.

Newell played for the University of West Alabama where he spent three seasons in NCAA Division II football. The defensive back had 31 solo tackles and five pass deflections in a career year in 2022.