Assistant coach Dominic DeLuca is of the notion that the Soo Greyhounds “will surprise some people” this coming Great North Midget Hockey League season.
The long-time Sault Ste. Marie minor hockey coach told me that while the Greyhounds have advanced several players to higher ranks and are short in experience on the blueline, he and head coach Kevin Panco like what they have heading into the 2017-2018 campaign.
Thus far, the Greyhounds have confirmed 18 players who will begin the 2017-2018 season.
“We’ve got some good returning players and some new kids coming in and we think we are going to have a pretty good team again this season. Right now, we’re looking pretty good,” DeLuca noted.
The Greyhounds finished in third place during the 2016-2017 season and then lost to the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves in the second round of the playoffs.
As for the 2017-2018 team to date, players by position with their birth year in brackets are as follows.
FORWARDS: Parker Morgan (2000), Tyler Nott (2000), Owen Shier (2000), Avery Rebek (2000), Raf Praysner (2000), Dale Armstrong (2001), Colby Arbour (2001), Cam Findlay (2001), Kurtis Rogers (2001), Nick Niro (2002), Nick Jameus (2002).
DEFENSEMEN: Mackenzie Ableson (2001), Jacob Doucette (2001), Caden King (2001), Johnny Mackin (2001), Jordan Ritchie (2001).
GOALIES: Dawson Hunter (2000), Andrew Uschenko (2001).
The Greyhounds will be part of an expanded, nine-team Great North loop in 2017-2018.
Other teams are the Soo Thunderbirds minor midgets, North Bay major midgets and minor midgets, Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves, Sudbury Wolves minor midgets, Kapuskasing Flyers, New Liskeard Cubs and Timmins Majors.
The Soo minor midgets and the North Bay minor midgets are new to the Great North.
Jamie Henderson, formerly of the high school hockey champion St. Mary’s Knights, the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and the Lake Superior State Lakers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, will coach the Soo minor midgets.