NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2016
NOJHL preseason preview: Powassan Voodoos
SUDBURY, Ont. – Gearing up to open up training camp on Aug. 26, the Powassan Voodoos expect big things as they head into their third season in the NOJHL.
Piloting the Voodoos for another year is league CCM Hockey first team all-star general manager Chris Dawson and CCM second team all-star coach Scott Wray.
Having won a franchise record 40 games in 2015-16, here’s a synopsis on what might lie ahead for the Powassan Voodoos heading into the preseason.
Head Coach: Scott Wray
GM: Chris Dawson
NOJHL: Who are a couple of returning players you expect big things from?
CHRIS DAWSON: “Francois Lemelin & Eric Nagy. Nagy had a tremendous rookie season for us and was named to the NOJHL all-star squad last fall at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge in Cornwall. Meantime, Lemelin, a Harvard commit, is hoping to impress the Ivy League school in his final year of junior eligibility. Lemelin was a pleasant surprise for the Voodoos joining the NOJHL squad after the Christmas break.”
NOJHL: Give us your thoughts on some of the newcomers you’ve signed and you’ve been impressed with.
CD: “We acquired forward Ryan Theriault in a deal that sent Nick Siracuse the other way to the Timmins Rock. Theriault is a big body and is expected to be a key to the Voodoos offence in 2016-17. Andy Baker is another key forward expected to bring a lot of offence to the Voodoos. The North Bay Battalion OHL Prospect was the leading scorer for the Huntsville Otters Jr. C. We inked the Port Carling, Ont., product after he netted 29 goals and 33 assists totalling 62 points in Junior C with Huntsville last season. More importantly, the Battalion14th round pick in 2015 netted two goals and four assists in only two games with the Voodoos last year as an affiliate player.”
SCOTT WRAY: “We are looking forward to see what Andy can do this year. We had a small sample last season and he didn’t look out of place whatsoever. But a season-ending wrist injury in only his second affiliate game with the Voodoos cut short his promising junior ‘A’ start. We could have used him down the stretch in the playoffs with his offensive capabilities. The future is bright for this young man.”
NOJHL: Are there any other prospects that have caught your eye?
SW: “1999 birth year forward Kyle Challis is expected to be another key part of the offence this year. The Bracebridge, Ontario product was an invite to the Peterborough Petes spring camp. He netted 39 goals last season in 38 games with the Bracebridge Blues of the Greater Metro Junior ‘A’ Hockey League.
NOJHL: How about any newcomers that will help bolster the Voodoos defensive corps?
CD: “On the blue line, the club is expecting big things from defenceman Dayton Murray. He racked up 27 goals and 27 assists for 54 points in 31 games last season with the Temiscaming Titans of the Greater Metro Jr. ‘A’ Hockey League. He’s known for his big shot. He will join our team that had only one defenceman – graduating blue liner Nicky Grose – in the top 14 in team scoring.”
NOJHL: What do you think Murray will provide Powassan offensively from the back end?
SW: “We expect our defensive scoring to to change with Murray in the lineup this season. We are looking forward to having an offensive defenceman in our lineup this season. We lacked a left-handed power play D-man last season and I think Dayton will fill that void we have been dearly missing. He is going to be relied on for his offence and his leadership this season.”
POWASSAN VOODOOS EXHIBITION GAMES
Wednesday, Aug. 31 vs. French River 2:30 p.m. (Sportsplex)
Thursday, Sept. 1 @ French River 7:30 p.m. (Noelville Arena)