Elliot Lake Wildcats return top guns

August 14, 2015

There is a full load of offensive production headed back to Elliot Lake for the 2015-2016 season.

Elliot Lake general manager Todd Stencill told HockeyNewsNorth.com that six of the Wildcats top nine forwards from the 2014-2015 campaign will be returning to the second-year, Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team in 2015-2016.

Leading the prowl of veteran forwards returning to the Wildcats den are three players who combined for more than 90 goals and 240-plus points in 2014-2015, regular season and playoffs included.

The troika of high-scoring returnees features Cole Hepler, Adam Baxter and Spencer MacLean. Hepler had 33 goals, 52 assists, 85 points in 2014-2015 while Baxter had 31-53-84 numbers and MacLean produced 31-41-72 totals.

The three other returning forwards also had good showings for the Wildcats in 2014-2015 as Alec Mackenzie posted 11-40-51 statistics followed by Jason Wilson with 13-15-28 totals and Liam Blais with 16-11-27 numbers.

“We certainly welcome back six of our top forwards as we try to build on what was a good first season in the league for us,” said Stencill, who returns for a second season along with head coach Nathan Hewitt.

As a first-year entry in 2014-2015, the Wildcats made it to the second round of the playoffs while finishing second in average per-game attendance in what was then a nine-team NOJHL.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats will begin official preparation for the 2015-2016 season with the opening of training camp on Monday, August 24 at Centennial Arena.

Elliot Lake will be part of a six-team West Division that also includes the reigning NOJHL and Dudley-Hewitt Cup, Central Canada champion Soo Thunderbirds, Soo Eagles, Blind River Beavers, Espanola Express and Rayside-Balfour Canadians.

Six teams will also make up the East Division — French River Rapids, Powassan Voodoos, Iroquois Falls Eskis, Cochrane Crunch, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and Timmins Rock.

PHOTO: Elliot Lake Wildcats general manager Todd Stencill, in a media interview.

What you think about “Elliot Lake Wildcats return top guns”

  1. Wow, that’s going to be a dangerous group of forwards in 2015/16. I saw Baxter and MacLean at the Central Canada Challenge (as well as at Rhodes several times) and thought they were excellent at both ends of the ice. With Hepler they have great chemistry. Also very impressed with Captain Wilson’s two-way play. First place in the west will be hotly contested this year!

  2. Hi Randy.
    I cannot tell you how much I enjoy your Website most espesially the coverage that you give the NOJ.
    If you will please allow me I want to give my “Pre Season Predictions” that are based so far on what I have been reading both here and in some of the Papers as well as intrested observers such as myself that I talk to.

    1st – Timmins
    2nd – Cochrane
    3rd – Powassen
    4th – Kirkland
    5th – Iroqois Falls
    6th – French River

    1st – Rayside
    2nd – Soo Thunderbirds
    3rd – Soo Michigan
    4th – Elliott Lake
    5th – Blind River
    6th – Espanola

    Thank you Randy & keep up all the great work that you do!

  3. A little bit too early to make predictions, as some teams have as few as four palyers signed (Espanola). I will agree with NOJHL Observer that it will be difficult for the first year teams, like Espanola and French River, as the quality of the league seems to be improving each and every year. I do believe, with the management team Espanola has in place, that this team will improve greatly over the course of the season, and might surprise a few observers by season’s end. Can’t wait for the season to start!

  4. Gold Miners had better be finding a veteran Goalie with them being hosts of the Dudley. I don’t think Audet who was here 2 years ago who they just brought back is the answer. just look at his Save % Stats the past year bouncing from Team to Team / League to League. Those Stats aint gonna cut it.

  5. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Here are my predictions NOJHL Observer,
    1. Powasson “A lot of Vets from orginal trappers in 2013-2014”
    2. Kirkland Lake “Hosts and waiting for a vet goalie to report…Audet is a bandaid”
    3. Timmins “Free to play and a good coach”
    4. Cochrane ” lost a lot of vets and advisors”
    5. Eskis “Not much has changed since Mattawa, need a good scout”
    6. French River “good coach and expansion pains”

    1. Soo Eagles “great owners and USA Hockey rules give an advantage
    2. Soo Thunderbirds “buildt to Win
    3. Elliot Lake “good coach and a lot of vets”
    4. Rayside “no major signings and a new beggining”
    5. Blind River “some Junior A vets and young players 19 kids signed”
    6. Espanola “expansion and new players”
    This Should be a good year randy, Also this is a regular season prediction not a PLAYOFF prediction.

    Know I am no kidding you.
    Those are my prediction’s and that is your’s. This is a fun part of the game of Hockey . I am not kidding Ha Ha.

  7. Here’s my predictions….. the wildcats have the loudest, most annoying fans that you love to hate. We shock the shit out if everyone with the players we have signed that haven’t been released. We shock the shit out of everyone with all the changes made to our fan base and how our games are ran. We hit the ice fast and hard every time and we give the soo thunderbird a run for their money JUST like last year. I predict about 10 broken sticks from pissed of players (opposing team) !! Honestly I would like to know where you are coming up with these predictions I know we didn’t release the names of all we have signed…… we just announced 6 of our best players coming back! We got this….. cow bells are polished, ice is being put in boys are on there way this year that dudley Hewitt cup is ours it’s even got our coaches name on it. We had the BEST record breaking season of an expansion team…. litterally NO one has ever done it better. And yet you rank us 4th in our division? Hears a little history we weren’t even approved till July last year…. we put together the 2nd place and best ever expansion team in NOJHL history. Keep underestimating us WE LOVE IT!

  8. I totally agree with you, wildcat junkie. Excited to see what those boys are gonna do next weekend when they get into town. Can’t wait for that exhibition game in two weeks.

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