With any off season in junior hockey comes significant change as the result of roster turnover and the Fort St. John Huskies are no different. Add to that a season that fell below expectations and it sets the stage for a busy summer.
Not only will the club be looking to replace their outgoing 21 year olds but they’ll be looking to upgrade the roster overall after the team fell from third overall in the NWJHL standings in the 2013-2014 season, to fifth this past year.
“There will be more put into this summer,” said assistant coach Jeremy Clothier. “I’ve done quite a bit of research already up front looking at kids that are 20 years old that may not be with their teams in the future. We’re definitely looking for four or five pieces for sure.”
Among those pieces the team will be looking to add to will be between the pipes as Travis McLean has had his junior eligibility expire, and the status of Daimon Derouin returning as a 21 year old is unknown at this point. The club will also be looking to add to their forward depth.
“We’re looking for some depth up front. We lost some pretty good players in the past season. We’re looking for one or two scoring forwards last year. We found that that’s where we were lacking last year was some offensive punch up front.”
The first stage of scouting for the team will take place in May where Clothier and other members of the Huskies will attend a camp put on by the Creston Valley Thunder Cats in Calgary.
“We’ve had something worked out with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. That’s where one of our players ended up going this year, Lien Miller-Jeannotte. We’ve been talking to them and they invited us to come down to Calgary to their camp that they have. It will give us a chance to look at players that are Junior B eligible to try to bring up here and fill some of the holes we have to fill.”
The club will continue their scouting and recruiting efforts through other avenues through contacts the coaching staff has across western Canada.