For his part, Aldergrove Kodiaks GM and associate coach Rick Harkins is feeling confident moving into the team’s seventh year.
“We’ve got 14 rookies, all 17 years old, they’re young but they’re fast,” said Harkins.
“We’ve moved a lot of players up the ladder over those years and this makes us attractive to players who want to play for us.”
Half a dozen of last year’s star players have moved up to teams such as SFU and the Express, including Callegari, Jang, Schwartz, Cronin, Lagler and Unger.
“But we have a good nucleus coming back to us: Markin, Dolby, Davitt, Fritz, Wallinger and Poitras,” said Harkins. “Whitworth, Jansons and Leroux will be back with us too.”
“We have Griffin Bailey from Merritt in goal along with John Krentz from Aldergrove, the first AMHA goalie in our history.”
Harkins was pleased with both of the Kodiaks exhibition games. On Friday, Aug. 29 the Kodiaks defeated Ridge Meadows Flames 3-1 at Planet Ice, Coquitlam and on Thursday, Sept. 4 fell in the last period to Richmond Sockeyes, 5-2 at Richmond Arena.
“We were up 2-1 after the first period and 2-2 going into the third. They got up 4-2 in the last of the third so we pulled our goalie and they scored an empty-netter for the win.”
Aldergrove Kodiaks line-up at this point is:
#19 Eric Callegari, F
#5 Jacob Cronin, D
#2 Evan Cusmano, D
#12 Cameron Davitt, F
#8 Brandon Dolby, F
#18 Maximilian Fritz, F
#? Jordan Funk, F
#7 Elvis Jansons, F
#91 Quinncy Leroux, F
#13 William Mann, F
#10 Aaron Markin, F
#15 Matt Oliver, F
#9 Joshua Poitras, D
#17 Nolan Wallinger, F
#4 Calen Whitworth, D
#77 Dryden Wust, F
#97 Jeremy Zomar, F