Hounds in the Great North hunt

February 17, 2022

Along with the Sudbury U18 Nickel Capitals and the North Bay U16 Trappers, Soo Jr. Greyhounds are among the upper class teams atop the standings of the eight member Great North Under 18 Hockey League. And the major junior scouts are taking notes.

First up, veteran Jr. Greyhounds head coach Jamie Henderson likes how his players have bought in to what is being preached.

“Right from day one the boys have really committed to our process. Our practices have been great all season which has really allowed for a lot of individual growth with this young group,” Henderson told Hockey News North.

The Jr. Greyhounds are made up mainly of players born in either 2005 or 2006.

“We are trying to focus on helping 20 players get better day in and day out while trying to navigate through these crazy times of Covid,” Henderson added.

A number of Jr. Greyhounds have also seen action in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League this season as affiliate players

“We have had eight players suit up in an NOJHL game which is amazing and even more have spent time practicing with both the (Soo) Thunderbirds and (Blind River) Beavers,” Henderson pointed out.

Henderson is also the general manager of the NOJHL Thunderbirds and regional scout for the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League. And he is hoping that a few of his Jr. Greyhounds are picked at this year’s OHL priority selections draft.

“It’s always difficult to predict what will happen at the OHL draft but we hope to hear a few names called for sure,” Henderson relayed.

Good size goalie Charlie Burns is being tabbed by a number of scouts as the top rated 2006 birth year member of the Jr. Greyhounds ahead of this year’s OHL draft.

Others who loom as possibilities to be OHL draft picks are forward Jacob Smith and sizeable defensemen Gage Evans and Evan Roach.

Both Evans and Roach have OHL bloodlines from their dads.

A truculent left winger, Cory Evans played four OHL seasons as a grit and grind skater for both the London Knights and Windsor Spitfires from 1991 to 1995.

Meanwhile, Gary Roach was a standout defenseman for the Soo Greyhounds and part of their 1993 Memorial Cup championship team before being traded to the North Bay Centennials.

Character individuals, both of the elder Evans and Roach boys also had notable minor pro careers and were teammates with the Laurentian University Voyageurs.

Jr. Greyhounds goalie Charle Burns. (photo by Bob Davies)

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