Blind River Beavers general manager and coach Kyle Brick has confirmed the signed return of nine players ahead of the 2021-2022 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season.
The nine veterans include one goalie, two defensemen and six forwards. They are as follows.
Gavin Disano. A 5-foot-9, 185 pound goalie, Disano faced a barrage of shots in becoming a workhorse between the pipes as a rookie for Blind River over the course of the abbreviated 2020-2021 NOJHL season.
Disano’s impressive 6-4-1 record, .891 save percentage and goals against average of 4.53 do not tell the whole story of what the 2003 birth year goalie faced in the Beavers net.
That is, in 689 minutes of action, the Sault Ste. Marie product faced a whopping 478 shots. Which, tallies up to a per game average of almost 42 shots per 60 minutes.
And Brick, as the GM and head coach, is looking for Disano to build on his performance from the 2020-2021 campaign.
“After a great rookie season, the pressure is on for Dizzy to take the net and not look back as he is our guy,” Brick told Hockey News North.
Samuel Davies. A 6-foot-1, 190 pound defenseman with a 2001 birth date, Davies played in 20 of Blind River’s 21 games in 2020-2021 and produced one goal, three assists, four points for the Beavers, who finished the season with a record of 9-11-1.
Davies has already been named the Beavers captain for the upcoming season.
“Sam will wear the ‘C’ for us this season,” Brick relayed. “His leadership was second to none last season and he deserves it.
“Look for Sam to have a much bigger impact with contact hockey,” Brick added.
Ethan Pegg. A medium size defenseman with a 2002 birth date, Pegg played in 17 games for the Beavers last season and logged a lot of ice time while potting four goals, four assists, eight points from his blue line post.
“As arguably the best d-man in the league, Ethan’s skating, vision and offensive abilities will be on showcase this season,” said Brick, in heady praise of Pegg.
Joel Martin. A 5-foot-8, 165 pound forward, Martin played in only eight games for the Beavers last season and did not record a point.
“This will be Joel’s third season with us and it’s no secret we are expecting big things from him,” Brick said of the 2001 birth year product of Timmins.
Alex Tingay. Injuries limited the 2001 birth year forward to just four games for the Beavers last season and the lanky lad was able to produce one assist.
“After battling health problems, Alex is ready to go and stronger than ever,” said Brick, adding that Tingay’s “hockey IQ is off the charts.”
Caleb Minns. A 2002 birth year forward with medium size, Minns had one goal, three assists, four points in nine games for the Beavers in 2020-2021.
“We are expecting Caleb to shoulder the offensive load this season,” Brick said of Minns. “He is a high skill guy who needs to put up numbers for us.
Jesse Dupuis. Hailing from the gritty northeastern Ontario town of Iroquois Falls, the 2003 birth year forward came through with two goals in 11 games for Blind River last season while gaining valuable junior hockey experience.
“Jesse had a great rookie season for us,” said Brick. “He is working on getting bigger, faster and stronger. We will be looking at him to play the half wall on the power play this season.”
Meguire Naughton. Another 2003 birth year forward, the 6-foot-1, 175 pound Naughton had two goals, one assist, three points in 19 games for the Beavers in 2020-2021.
“He is a great two-way center with some nasty in him,” said Brick. “We will be looking for him to step into our top six forward unit and have a big impact.”
Dre Leismeister. A 2002 birth year forward with size, Leismeister played in 16 games for the Beavers last season and had one goal, two assists, three points.
“Dre will be a different player once he can bang bodies,” noted Brick. “He is hard to play against and we are looking at him to really solidify our fore check.”