Eagles in flight with few vets

Randy Russon
October 15, 2020

Soo Eagles have a fresh faced look to them with no less than 18 newcomers to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League who have been signed by president and general manager Bruno Bragagnolo.

Still, the Eagles do have a sprinkling of time tested veterans for coach Doug Laprade and his staff to look to for leadership and experience over the course of the 2020-2021 season.

Beginning between the pipes, Ryan Gilmore is the Eagles holdover goalie, having served as the backup to since graduated, workhorse veteran Shane Brancato last season.

Ryan Gilmore

Gilmore, who has a 2001 birth date, had nice numbers as as NOJHL rookie in 2019-2020, fashioning a record of 7-3-0 to go with a 2.93 goals against average and .913 save percentage.

Joining Gilmore in the Eagles net this season are Soo Indians under 18 grad Gabe Rosek and local product Caleb Horn, who tended twine in 2019-2020 for the Sault High Blue Devils.

Rosek has a 2001 birth date while Horn was born in 2002.

Hayden Daca

On the blue line, Eagles with NOJHL experience include Nolan Dresch and Hayden Daca.

Dresch had one goal, three assists, four points in 46 games for the Eagles last season.

Daca, meanwhile, signed with the Eagles during the summer as a free agent from the mothballed Elliot Lake Wildcats. Daca had 13 points in 52 games for last place Elliot Lake last season, including five goals.

Dresch has a 2000 birth date while Daca was born in 2001.

Bobby Price

Up front, local product Bobby Price and Ali Malik are back in the Eagles nest after combining for 24 goals and 62 points last season. Price produced 13-23-36 totals while Malik had 11-15-26 numbers.

Both players have 2000 birth dates as does another forward in Zachary Frescura.

Frescura played in the NOJHL for the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners last season and had four goals, five assists, nine points in 33 games.

And local product Kyle Portlock, a 2002 birth year forward, got a taste of the NOJHL with the Eagles last season and produced a pair of assists in 16 games. Portlock spent most of last season with the under 18 Soo Indians.

The Eagles are coming off of a 2019-2020 season in which they finished in fourth place in the West Division standings of the NOJHL with a record of 30-21-5.

The 65 points that the Eagles totaled were just two less then the Ontario-based Soo Thunderbirds.

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