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])
F Kevin Groulx, F Felix Brassard (Norwich, NCAA), Marshall Frappier (Sudbury, OHL)
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.”
“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.”
“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