A former star winger who was an impact player in the Ontario Hockey League before going on to play in more than 700 National Hockey League games will assist the new Elliot Lake Red Wings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League as a mentor.
Paul Noad, who is the new operator of the rebranded Elliot Lake franchise, confirmed the involvement of 39-year old Raffi Torres to Hockey News North. Noad and Torres are long-time friends.
Torres played three full seasons in the OHL for the Brampton Battalion from 1998 to 2001 and became a top all-around player under legendary coach Stan Butler. Playoffs and regular season included, Torres potted 123 goals in 197 games for Brampton, which has since moved to North Bay.
A first round draft pick of the New York Islanders, Torres would play in 703 games for seven different NHL teams and score 148 goals.
The Elliot Lake franchise that Torres will now assist in a player mentor-ship capacity has undergone a major overhaul during this off season as it prepares for the 2021-2022 campaign as part of the NOJHL’s West Division.
The Red Wings all-new hockey staff includes head coach Brian Noad, assistant coach Adam Lamarre, general manager John Buchanan and vice president of hockey operations Mark Savery. Feedback on all four individuals has been positive.
Elliot Lake was on a leave of absence during the 2020-2021 NOJHL season.
Previously known as the Elliot Lake Wildcats, the team finished in last place in the 12-team NOJHL during the 2019-2020 season.
Besides a new coach and management staff, the refreshed Red Wings also have a new operator in the aforementioned Paul Noad, who has a reputable hockey and business background.