(Windsor, ON) – After one of the most intense training camps in recent memory, general manager Bill Bowler has cut his roster down to 22 players ahead of Saturday’s exhibition opener in Fort Erie against the Niagara IceDogs.
“Myself, the coaching staff and our scout team were all very impressed with the level of effort and skill this year’s camp participants brought over the last few days,” Bowler said. “We’re in a situation where the majority of our team is returning, so roster spots were definitely at a premium.”
To Bowler’s point, 17 of the 22 players who remain with the club are “homegrown”, That is, drafted by the club. The other five – Matthew Maggio, Egor Afanasyev, Grayson Ladd, Will Cuylle and Curtis Douglas – are mainstays acquired through trades.
That type of consistency sets up a potential edge for head coach Trevor Letowski and his staff, although, the third-year bench boss says nothing will be given.
“A lot of these guys have played together, at least a year or two,” Letowski said. “We’ve had a young after winning the Memorial Cup in 2017. That was always the plan. But I think the new blood is going to help. Especially Afanasyev, Rafkin. Two new bodies but definitely to very good players that can step right in for us an make an impact.”
Gametime Saturday night is 7pm at the Fort Erie LeisurePlex. There will be no radio or TV coverage of the game.
EXHIBITION GAME ONE ROSTER