The start of the 2014-15 SJHL season is just around the corner as players will start to descend onto Flin Flon with their annual Main Camp, starting this Friday at the Whitney Forum with player registration.
The team that took the Estevan Bruins to a game 5 of their best of five first round matchup, will have a lot of returning players to the club, but with the future considereations pieces fulfilled after an eventful January 10th trade deadline, there are not a lot of spots open for even some of the veterans from last season.
GONE: The team said goodbye to 1993 born forward Brody Robinson and defenseman Brock Hounsell. After the deadline, they were the only two 20 year olds left on the club. Also gone is defenseman Simon Desrosiers (retired), forward Peter Poulin-Roy (trade) and Dalton Menke (awaiting trade). Forward Connor Bucsis left the club to tryout with the Corpus Christi IceRays of the NAHL. Also traded was 1994 born hometown forward Dillan McCombie. McCombie was returned after being dealt to the Dauphin Kings last season. He was traded to the Bonyville Pontiacs of the AJHL in July.
ARRIVALS: As stated above, the Bombers were very busy at the January 10th Trade Deadline, moving three players at the deadline and one just prior to Christmas resulting in the acquisition of four players in June due to future considerations. Of them are 1995 born defenseman Tanner Lishchynsky (Yorkton Terriers) who has WHL experience. Also new are 1996 born defenseman Braden Lacoursiere (Battlefords North Stars) and a pair of 1994 born forwards Tanner Lomsnes (Dauphin Kings) and Chris Raukman (Drumheller Dragons). Flin Flon also brought in 1995 born forward Alex Smith in the trade for McCombie.
ATTENDING OTHER CAMPS: There are a few faces in other camps right now that won’t be in Flin Flon this weekend. Lomsnes decided to try his hand at the NAHL joining Bucsis in Corpus Christi after being drafted by the Ice Rays in the NAHL draft this past summer. Also gone is 1995 born forward Paul Soubry (NAHL – Witchita Falls Wildcats). The Bombers also have a hand full of players attending WHL camps including last year’s leading scorer Austin Calladine (Swift Current Broncos) and prospect Lance Yaremchuk (Prince George Cougars), along with a pair of 1997 born defenseman in Curtis Roach (Prince Albert Raiders) and Dustin Perrilat (Moose Jaw Warriors) the latter seeing some action with the club last season. 1997 born goaltender Connor Ingram fresh off a National Midget Championship with the Prince Albert Mintos is also away at WHL camp with the Kamloops Blazers.
FORWARDS: The team is returning a big core of players from last season. Up front the team welcomes back Erik Pedersen, Parker Evans-Campbell and Austin Evans who will be looked to as the offensive leaders this season. Local product Evan Akkerman and second year forward Tyson Empey return. Akkerman suited up in 25 games with the club last season. Empey; who still has two seasons left with the club; looks to bounce back from his disappointing eight point season after contributing with 13 as a 17 year old rookie. He showed a clutch performance in the playoffs last season picking up 4 points (3g, 1a) in that five game series against Estevan. Also back after a strong playoff performance is 1994 born BC product Dean Allison. Allison lead the team in playoff points with seven (3g, 4a) and will be looked to for a leadership role this season. Another BC native to be looked at offensively is 1995 born Seamus Maguire who will look to improve on his seven point rookie season.
DEFENSE: Despite the acquisition of Lishchynsky and Lacoursiere, the team has a strong returning core of defenseman starting with 1994 born Danys Chartrand. Chartrand is fresh off his best season offensively with the team and returns for his final junior season already committed to the University of North Dakota. Second year rearguard Rob Cameron is also back. Cameron chipped in with 13 points as a rookie which had him forth in team scoring amongst defenseman. Sitting one spot above him was 1994 born AJ Kapcheck. The Chicago, IL product returns after an 18 points season a year ago.
GOAL: With the departure of arguably the best goalie in the SJHL Devin Buffalo, rookie goalie Simon Hofley stepped in and looked poise in his starts down the stretch run as the team tried to make the playoffs. As a rookie Hofley posted numbers of 3.28 goals against average and 0.916, both better then Buffalo’s rookie numbers. Hofley finished with a 2.34 goals against average and a 0.929 save percentage in the playoffs.