All posts by Randy Russon

Beware the Beavers


Randy Russon
By
June 10, 2020

They are the junior hockey epitome of small market success. Playing out of a venerable Highway 17 town with a population base of about 3,500, Blind River Beavers have put together four straight winning seasons in establishing the franchise as one of the best in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

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T-Birds to look at local goalie


Randy Russon
By
June 8, 2020

Once they are cleared to hold their summer ice camp — dependent on restrictions being lifted relative to the COVID-19 pandemic — Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League plan to take a look at local goalie Zach Prusky.

Zach Prusky

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Prusky, who has a 2003 birth date, spent the 2019-2020 season as a rookie with the New Liskeard Cubs of the Great North Midget Hockey League.

Impressively, in true workhorse fashion, Prusky played the most minutes — 1,741 — of any goalie in the Great North loop in 2019-2020.

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Birds of the Soo nest


Randy Russon
By
June 7, 2020

There is a lot that can happen between now and the start of the 2020-2021 junior hockey season relative to player personnel.

Tristan Cicchello

And just as much can change between the beginning of the season and the end of it.

But as it currently stands, Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have no less than nine local kids who could be a part of the team when the first puck drops on the 2020-2021 campaign.

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T-Birds take in two locals


Randy Russon
By
June 6, 2020

It is a bonus when a junior hockey team can sign a local player.

Ty Zachary is one of two local rookies who have signed up to play for new Soo Thunderbirds coach Denny Lambert.

It is a double bonus when the team can add two locals at once.

Two of the top four scorers from the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Midget Hockey League will stay at home to suit up for the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League come the 2020-2021 season.

…[read more]

RBC gives $10K to NOFCC


Randy Russon
By
June 5, 2020

Rayside Balfour Canadians of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have scored big for the Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer group.

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T-Birds will be set to go


Randy Russon
By
June 4, 2020

There is mindful optimism — even if it is from reading between the lines — that there will be a 2020-2021 junior hockey season.

And Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League will be a nice mix of old and new once teams are able to stick handle around the COVID-19 obstacle.

Incoming head coach Denny Lambert and his bench staff will be looking to work from the inside and outside as the Thunderbirds move on from a 2019-2020 season in which they finished in third place in the West Division with a record of 30-19-7.

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Kingston trio makes music


Randy Russon
By
June 2, 2020

A troika of forwards stands tall in the talent pool that is poised to help elevate the Kingston Frontenacs into future Ontario Hockey League contention.

Shane Wright

Center Shane Wright and wingers Zayde Wisdom and Martin Chromiak are first line pieces of the puzzle that have Kingston ticketed for emergence within the Eastern Conference come the next OHL season.

All three were major points producers with the Frontenacs during the 2019-2020 season — and they all have time on their side in the form of remaining OHL eligibility.

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Hounds have 50-50 shot


Randy Russon
By
June 1, 2020

Soo Greyhounds have a better chance of being in the 2021 Memorial Cup tournament than they do of winning next spring’s Ontario Hockey League championship. To be sure, the Greyhounds have to beat out only one team — the Oshawa Generals — to gain automatic entry into the 2021 national championship event.

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Schlueting to Saginaw


Randy Russon
By
June 1, 2020

Saginaw Spirit general manager Dave Drinkill has started the Ontario Hockey League trade season with a bargain pickup.

Pacey Schlueting

Drinkill has obtained 2002 birth year defenseman Pacey Schlueting from the North Bay Battalion for a fourth round draft pick in 2024 and a 12th round pick in 2023.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Schlueting was a first round pick of the Battalion, ninth overall, at the 2018 OHL priority selections draft from his hometown North Bay Trappers of the Great North Midget Hockey League.

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Dressed for the Knights


Randy Russon
By
May 29, 2020

He has the hat. He has the t-shirt.

Mason Chitaroni

Next, it is the jersey of the London Knights that Mason Chitaroni wants to wear.

That’s because Chitaroni is a plum prospect of the Knights, who took the 5-foot-10, 150-pound defender in the fifth round, 99th overall, at this year’s Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft from the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Midget Hockey League.

“I want to show London that they made the right choice in drafting me,” the 15-year old youngster relayed to Hockey News North.

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Two teams on the upswing


Randy Russon
By
May 26, 2020

When a team has been at the bottom of the standings, it figures that there is no place to go but up.

Two years ago, the 2018-2019 season, it was the Kingston Frontenacs who finished in last place in the 20-team Ontario Hockey League. And this past season, the 2019-2020 campaign, it was the North Bay Battalion which had the dubious distinction of having the worst record in the OHL.

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Bulls call on Bronson


Randy Russon
By
May 25, 2020

Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák Steel Bulls have put in a call from Central Hungary to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to ask veteran defenseman Bronson Kovacs to play another season of professional hockey in Erste Liga.

Bronson Kovacs

And the 29-year old Kovacs — he will turn 30 in July — told Hockey News North that he has made a verbal agreement to return to the Steel Bulls for the 2020-2021 hockey season. The 2020-2021 campaign will mark the sixth season of pro hockey in Hungary for Kovacs.

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NOJHL and the HCR


Randy Russon
By
May 24, 2020

Barring any late change or modification, the Hockey Canada Registry will open as usual on June 1 to the 130 or so teams that are a part of the Canadian Jr. Hockey League. CJHL membership includes the 11 teams of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey.

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Great North to NOJHL


Randy Russon
By
May 21, 2020

Several skaters from the top team in the Great North Midget Hockey League from 2019-2020 are poised to progress to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League in 2020-2021.

Dylan Forsyth

Forwards Michael Chaffay, Dylan Forsyth, Devin Mauro and Ty Zachary and defenseman Mateo Perri are among the stalwarts from the Great North’s Soo Jr. Greyhounds who may be headed to the NOJHL once the 2020-2021 season gets going.

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Lambert to lead T-Birds


Randy Russon
By
May 20, 2020

This is a multiple coaching hire of well known local hockey people.

Denny Lambert

Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League will have a new look coaching staff for the 2020-2021 season, Hockey News North has confirmed. And leading the way as the new bench boss of the T-Birds is a man who played the game at its highest level.

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Guarding the Greyhound net


Randy Russon
By
May 20, 2020

A pressing question relative to the Soo Greyhounds ahead of the 2020-2021 Ontario Hockey League season correlates with the most paramount position of all.

Nick Malik

Who will be the goalies for a Greyhound team that sees itself as a contender to the extent that it is bidding to play host to the 2021 Memorial Cup tournament and be a participant?

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Ryan Dugas has the numbers


Randy Russon
By
May 19, 2020

On a Kingston Frontenacs team that posted the worst overall record in the Ontario Hockey League over the past two seasons, it was their youngest goalie who had the best numbers of any puck stopper. By far.

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Famine of the Frontenacs


Randy Russon
By
May 17, 2020

General manager Darren Keily has a distant goal of bringing a long-awaited Ontario Hockey League championship to Kingston. So too does head coach Paul McFarland. But that may be much easier said than done considering the Kingston Frontenacs have never — ever — won an OHL title.

…[read more]

Top dog in the Hound pound


Randy Russon
By
May 15, 2020

Soo Greyhounds have confirmed the signing of their first round pick from the 2020 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

…[read more]

More of the future in Flint


Randy Russon
By
May 15, 2020

Fresh from their finest season in a franchise history that began in 2015, Flint Firebirds have added fuel to the future with the signing of two more players from the 2020 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

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Toots Kovacs to Sault College


Randy Russon
By
May 13, 2020

It is another level of the game for Zoltan (Toots) Kovacs. A fixture within the local hockey community for decades, the 60-year old Kovacs has enrolled with the Sault College Cougars men’s team as an assistant to head coach Mike Hall.

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OHL scouts put in the time


Randy Russon
By
May 13, 2020

It can be a time consuming job as a nightly gig that also includes morning and afternoon assignments on the weekend. But passion and perseverance lies within the pores of the average Ontario Hockey League scout.

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Chitaroni has a flip side


Randy Russon
By
May 12, 2020

It is destination unknown for Mason Chitaroni relative to the 2020-2021 hockey season. That is, the 15-year old defenseman with the world-class speed — he does not turn 16 until October 2 — could be playing in the Ontario Hockey League, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, or for any one of four teams in the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League when the 2020-2021 campaign gets going.

…[read more]

NOJHL is still a plus 11


Randy Russon
By
May 10, 2020

One way of looking at it is, with the Elliot Lake Wildcats announcing a leave of absence for next season, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is down one team.

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Porco in the Nick of time


Randy Russon
By
May 10, 2020

As dictated by the COVID-19 crisis, time is standing still in the hockey world. Still, as for time away from the hockey rink, Sault Ste. Marie product Nick Porco is putting it to good use.

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Coaching rerun in Kingston


Randy Russon
By
May 9, 2020

It took the Kingston Frontenacs less than two weeks to fill their vacant head coach position. And it will be a familiar face manning the bench in Kingston when the next Ontario Hockey League season begins.

…[read more]