Saginaw Spirit head coach Chris Lazary gushed a gallon of good words about Sault Ste. Marie products Nick Porco and Camaryn Baber ahead of the upcoming Ontario Hockey League playoff series with the Soo Greyhounds.
Porco, a winger and Baber, a center, are both 2001 birth-year yields from the 2017 OHL priority selections draft. Porco was Saginaw’s first-round pick while Baber was a third-round selection of the Spirit.
Porco is in his second full season in Saginaw while Baber is an OHL rookie with the Spirit after having apprenticed in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League in 2017-2018.
At any rate, Lazary reacted with positive feedback about Porco and Baber in a recent interview with sportswriter Brad Coccimiglio of Soo Today.
Lazary referred to Porco as “an elite talent who is so valuable to our club. He’s unbelievable with his speed and he has grown so much in his game making plays off the rush.”
Porco netted 20 goals, 16 assists, 36 points in 67 games during the regular season. He missed Game 4 of the opening round of the playoffs against the Sarnia Sting with concussion symptoms but should be ready to go for Game 1 of the best-of-seven, Western Conference semi-final between the Spirit and the Greyhounds on Friday night in Saginaw.
As for Baber, who potted 8 goals, 13 assists, 21 points in 48 regular-season outings and tallied once and had a pair of helpers in four opening-round playoff games against Sarnia, Lazary kept the praise going.
“At the start of the year (Baber) probably didn’t get the opportunities he needed,” Lazary admitted. “Lately, he’s been our undercover MVP with his play. He’s been unbelievable in big games. His penalty kill details, his face-offs, you put him on any line and he gets the job done.”
As noted by Hockey News North in a previous story, Baber has put up 4 goals, 10 assists, 14 points in his last 15 outings for Saginaw, regular season and playoffs included.