A trio of overage skaters are among the more than 35 would-be, could-be Soo Greyhounds who will hit the ice in a couple of days as training camp begins for the Ontario Hockey League team.
Forwards Jean Dupuy and Bryan Moore and defenceman Alex Gudbranson are the three 1994 birth-year skaters who are expected to at least begin the 2014-2015 OHL season in Houndtown.
Both Dupuy and Moore were acquired by the Greyhounds in trades during the 2013-2014 OHL season.
After scoring a goal in three games to begin the 2013-2014 term with the Kingston Frontenacs, the 6-foot-2, 190 pound Dupuy had 9 goals, 8 assists, 17 points in 41 regular-season games with the Greyhounds and then netted 3 goals and an assist in 9 playoff outings. A former 13th-round pick of Kingston’s who has developed into a very-dependable OHL forward, Dupuy does not turn 20 years old until October.
The 6-foot, 200-pound Moore is coming off a point-per-game, 2013-2014 season in which he had 11 goals, 22 assists, 33 points in 31 games with the Sarnia Sting and then struck for 14 goals, 14 assists, 28 points in 27 contests as a Greyhound.
Gudbranson, a stay-at-home defender, is slated to begin his third full OHL season with the Greyhounds. The 6-foot-2, 205 pound blueliner has also played two seasons with Kingston.
Under crusty coach Sheldon Keefe, the Hounds finished first in the OHL’s West Division in 2013-2014 with 95 points. The Soo ousted the Owen Sound Attack in the first round of the playoffs but lost to the high-scoring Erie Otters in the Western Conference semi-finals.
Keefe, who took over behind the Soo bench midway through the 2012-2013 term, is entering his second full season as the Hounds taskmaster.
The Hounds are expected to be be a top contender within the 10-team Western Conference again in 2014-2015 led by the likes of Dupuy, Moore, Gudbranson and high-end forwards Sergey Tolchinsky, Jared McCann, Michael Bunting and local product Blake Speers.
A question mark looms in goal with four-year veteran Matt Murray turning pro within the ranks of the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
Right now, the Hounds have second-year OHLer Brandon Halverson and 1998 birth-year rookie Joseph Raaymakers as their two backstops.
PHOTO: Jean Dupuy of the Soo Greyhounds celebrates a goal against the Sudbury Wolves during the 2013-2014 OHL season.