12 Days, 12 Previews: Nepean Raiders

Nepean, Ont. —
Following a summer that featured plenty of off-ice changes and roster transactions, the Nepean Raiders are hoping to improve on last season’s 8th-place finish.
The Raiders, led by third-year head coach Darcy Findlay, will be anchored by a veteran leadership group that includes 20-year-olds Corey Tam and Kari Belec and 19-year-old Malcolm Arseneau.
The acquisition of goaltender Matthew Chan from Hawkesbury should provide stability in the wake of Marshall Frappier’s advancing to the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.
Off-ice, the Raiders added CCHL alumnus Sean Bamford and veteran assistant coach Peter Howes to their coaching staff.


2016-17: 24-33-5 (8th place, first-round playoff loss to Carleton Place [4-1])

Key Losses:

F Kevin Groulx, F Felix Brassard (Norwich, NCAA), Marshall Frappier (Sudbury, OHL)

Key Additions:

F Olivier Gauthier (Newbridge, Prep), D Andrew Froese (St. Louis, NA3HL), G Matthew Chan (Hawkesbury)

Style of Play:

“Going into the year, we’re the most skilled team I’ve been able to coach in four years. I don’t take anything away from being gritty and in-your-face between whistles — we’re (still) going to forecheck teams extremely hard, finish checks, and play defence. We’re not the biggest team, but I don’t care if you’re 5’5 or 6’5: If we’re separating guys from pucks we’ll have success.”

Season Goal:

“We’re in year two of our three-year plan. Last year was to make playoffs. That’s a given (this year), anything less would be a disappointment. Based off what I’ve seen, I believe that once everyone’s on the same roster, and we have the same 20 guys playing every night, we’ll be competitive. I’d like to say we’re going to be a top-half team, (but) it’s very difficult to say, you can never speak for the other teams.”

Training Camp:

“Pretty good. We’ve had split squads up to this point, but Sunday night in Pembroke we had a veteran lineup. The kids seem to be getting along well; we brought in some character hockey players — prep-school captains — so we’ve made sure the locker room is a good place.”

— Head Coach Darcy Findlay