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NOJHL Notebook: Former NOJHLer Miller inks NHL contract

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
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NOJHL COMMUNICATIONS
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Release date: Friday, Aug. 9, 2013

NOJHL Notebook: Former NOJHLer Miller inks NHL contract

SUDBURY – The latest Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League alumnus to take the next step in securing a National Hockey League career is former Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Colin Miller.

Miller, a fifth round selection, 151st overall, of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2012 NHL Draft, was inked to a three-year entry level deal by the Kings last week.

The 20-year-old Sault Ste. Marie product skated for the Thunderbirds during the 2009-10 campaign where he registered 30 points in 46 games including seven goals. He added 14 more points in as many games helping the T-Birds advance all the way to the league final on five goals and nine helpers.

From there he went on to play the last two seasons for the Soo Greyhounds where this past year served as the Greyhounds captain and won the 2012-13 Mickey Renaud Captains Trophy, which is awarded annually to the OHL team captain who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice, with a passion and dedication to the game of hockey and his community.

AFFILIATION: The North Bay Trappers announced Friday that they have reached an affiliation agreement with the Ontario Hockey League’s North Bay Battalion for the 2013-14 season.

It’s expected the OHL side will send players and prospects back and forth from the NOJHL club as needed in developing talent while aiding both teams in the process.

The Trappers are gearing up to play their first season out of West Ferris Arena while the Battalion, having relocated to North Bay from Brampton in the off-season, will play out of Memorial Gardens as the OHL returns to the city.

Trappers general manager and director of hockey operations Chris Dawson is pleased with today’s announcement feeling having three teams in the NOJHL now affiliated with OHL clubs makes it a better league.

“We’re excited and thrilled to be affiliating with a first-class organization like the Battalion,” said Dawson.

“It’s a perfect fit for our organization to help with the development model and allow Battalion draft picks to play here under the watchful eye of our coaching staff and the Battalion organization all right here in North Bay. We hope that it’s a perfect fit for the Battalion too,” the Trappers GM added.

“Collectively our new Trappers organization can learn a lot from Stan (Battalion head coach/GM Stan Butler). He’s been tremendous in all our discussions about how we want this to work, and I believe we’re all on the same page.”

SUMMER SELECT SHOWCASE: A total of 15 players from the NOJHL will be in Cornwall this weekend taking part in the inaugural Ontario Summer Select Showcase.

The NOJHLers will be among a group of 80 in total representing some of the top 19 and under Junior A players from across the province who compete in the NOJHL, Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) and the Ontario Junior Hockey League. (OJHL)

Among those from the NOJHL taking part are 2012-13 league rookie of the year in goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk of the Soo Thunderbirds and top defensive forward recipient Brandon Bazinet of the Blind River Beavers.

The names of all those from the NOJHL taking part in the event are as follows:

PLAYER                       POS. TEAM
Aaron Kerr  F Abitibi Eskimos
Tyson MacLeod  F Blind River Beavers
Brandon Bazinet  F Blind River Beavers
Dustin Cordeiro    F Elliot Lake Bobcats
Ryan Theriault     F Espanola Jr. A Hockey
Jason Bednarski      F Espanola Jr. A Hockey
Nathan Campbell     D Espanola Jr. A Hockey
Jeremy Picard-Fiset    D Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Tanner Lafrance     F Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Steven Babin    F Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Joel Horodziejczyk G Soo Thunderbirds
Anthony Miller  F Soo Thunderbirds
Bradley Bell   D Sudbury Nickel Barons
Giovanni Foschia  F Sudbury Nickel Barons
August Jarecki  F Sudbury Nickel Barons

PRESEASON: A number of preseason games in the league are tenatively scheduled. Each exhibition contest hopes to be completed in the coming days with the league expected to announce the competing teams, dates and start times once they are all finalized.

REGULAR SEASON: With an eight-team league in 2013-14, it was determined that the NOJHL will play a balanced 56-game schedule with each side taking on their respective opponents a total of eight times apiece, four at home and four away.

Regular season action in the NOJHL will commence on Sept. 4 with the Abitibi Eskimos visiting McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff to take on the Sudbury Nickel Barons.

The regular season is set to conclude on March 9.

Overtime in regular season action will remain the same as last year.

NOJHL SHOWCASE: The NOJHL is slated to host a league Showcase Weekend Jan. 10-11 in Espanola.

A total of four league regular season games, which will count in the NOJHL standings, will be played at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.

The goal is to further showcase the players of the NOJHL in one location to further assist NCAA, CIS, CHL and NHL scouts allowing them access to all league members clubs in one venue.

NOJHL SHOWCASE GAMES

Friday, Jan. 10
Elliot Lake vs. Espanola 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 12
Kirkland Lake vs. Blind River 1:30 p.m.
Abitibi vs. Soo 4:15 p.m.
Sudbury vs. North Bay 7:15 p.m
.

CENTRAL CANADA CUP: Over the Christmas break the NOJHL will be sending an all-star team that will compete in the Central Canada Cup Challenge Dec. 27-29 in Terrebonne, Que.

There the NOJHLers will go up against similar all-star squads from the Maritime, Quebec, Central Canada and Ontario Jr. Hockey Leagues.

This marks the second time in three years the league will take part in the event.

TEAM-BY-TEAM UPDATES

ABITIBI ESKIMOS: The Eskimos will hold a prospects tryout tonight at Whitney Arena in South Porcupine/Timmins. … Abitibi’s training camp runs Aug. 19-23. … The club recently signed forwards Brady Cloutier, Marc Dube, Tommy Labrecque along with defencemen Will Wickersham. … Also signed was Sylvain Miron, an 18-year-old Iroquois Falls native who spent the 2012-13 season with the Great North Midget League’s Kapuskasing Flyers. … The Eskimos have also moved forward Nick Fountain to the Battlefords North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League accommodating the Wainwright Alta., native’s request to play closer to home. … Forward Aaron Kerr will be representing the team at this weekend’s Ontario Summer Select Showcase in Cornwall.

BLIND RIVER BEAVERS: Blind River’s main camp gets underway on Friday, Aug. 23. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. followed by the first on-ice session at 6 p.m. at the Blind River Community Centre. … Two members of the Beavers organization will be in Cornwall taking part in this weekend’s Summer Select Showcase showing their skills in front of the scouts. NOJHL best defensive forward recipient Brandon Bazinet will be there as will another forward in Tyson Macleod. … The club’s kicks off regular season play Sept. 6-7 with a home-and-home against Elliot Lake.

ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS: A busy off-season saw the Bobcats bolster their back-end by adding a pair of 20-year-old goaltenders having acquired Brandon Currie from the Blind River Beavers and along with Etienne Roy from the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. … A trio of defencemen have also been added in James Vuillemot from the Patomac Patriots (EJHL), skilled D-Man Max Glashouser from Flower Mount, Texas where he skated mainly with the Dallas Ice Jets Jr. A team (WSHL) along with veteran blueliner Damon Reeves. … Glashouser saw action in 37 games a year ago picking up 29 points, including nine goals. … As for Reeves, who hails from Manitoba, skated in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League in 2012-13 where he was one of the top defencemen in the whole league registering 44 points in just outings for the Illianna Blackbirds of Indiana, but played in the Minnesota Jr. loop. … Returning forward Dustin Cordeiro will participate in the Summer Select Showcase in Cornwall this weekend.

ESPANOLA JR. A HOCKEY: The club will announce their new team name Monday evening following an executive meeting in Espanola. The top four names coming out as part of their name the team contest are the Mountaineers, Spirit Eagles, Muskies and Rivermen. Final round voting via the club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/espanolajuniora runs until 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10. … The organization has named the following to their scouting staff for the season: Jon Rowe, Director of Scouting; Brent Cooper, Central Ontario; Chad Chevrette, North Shore; Archie Robillard, Western Canada; Jimmy Williams, Eastern Canada; Kyle Lang, Eastern USA. … The club holds their first-ever free agent training camp Aug. 15-18 in Espanola. They will also hold their inaugural Blue-Gold game on Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the camp. … Newcomers Ryan Theriault, Jason Bednarski and Nathan Campbell will all attend the Summer Select Showcase as part of the NOJHL.

KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS: Among the pre-season signings by the Gold Miners heading into 2013-14 are forwards Garrett Nichol and Andrew Bertand along defenceman Jake Mottershaw and Andrew Bertrand. … Nichol hails from Newmarket but played for the Almonte Thunder (EOJHL) last season where he was second in team scoring with 43 points in 41 games on 21 tallies and 22 assists. … Bertrand played high school hockey in Michigan scoring 15 ties and picking up nine assists. He was also named a first team all-star. … Mottershaw chipped in with six goals and set-up a dozen others with the Caledon Golden Hawks (GMOHL) while Bertrand saw action in 30 games finding the back of the net 16 times and dishing out 20 helpers for Centennial High School in Minnesota. …A trio of Gold Miners in NOJHL first team all-star defenceman Jeremy Picard-Fiset along with forwards Steven Babin and Tanner Lafrance will all represent the club at the Summer Select Showcase.

NORTH BAY TRAPPERS: With the announcement today of an affiliation with the OHL’s North Bay Battalion the two sides confirmed a commitment to work with each for the betterment of junior hockey in North Bay. …  Meanwhile the Trappers NCAA commitment list grew by two more this past week with defencemen Cole Klippenstein and Beau Orser set to attend Southern Maine and Oswego State respectively. … Others from last season’s NOJHL championship team off to play university hockey are goaltender Greg Dodds (Western Ontario), playoff MVP Trevor Hunt (Williston State), Andrew Martin (Finlandia), Justin Schneeburger (Colorado State), Stephen Langford (Briercrest) and Devan Turcotte (Williston State). …First year head coach Zane Neilly will make his regular season debut Sept. 6 as North Bay visits Sault Ste. Marie.

SOO THUNDERBIRDS: The Thunderbirds commence training camp Aug. 16-18 at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie. … NOJHL rookie of the year in goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk along with forward Anthony Miller will represent the T-Birds at this weekend’s Ontario Summer Select Showcase in Cornwall. …    The club kicks off their 2013-14 portion of the regular season Sept. 6 at Essar Centre as they host the North Bay Trappers at 7:30 p.m. … Under new head coach Jordan Smith the Soo will look to build off the success of the past two seasons where they won a NOJHL and Dudley-Hewitt Cup crown, competed in the 2012 RBC Cup national championship as well as the Dudley-Hewitt again in 2013.

SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS: The Nickel Barons kick-off training camp Aug. 22 at Walden Arena. … One of a number of new coaches in the NOJHL this season is One of the new signings for the team in 2013-14 is rookie forward Brody Brunet, who turns 16 in early October. … Brunet joins the club after a 41-point season with the Nickel City minor midget Elite team scoring 19 times and setting up 22 others. … Sudbury skaters Bradley Bell, Giovanni Foschia and August Jarecki will all attend the Summer Select Showcase in Cornwall. … The Nickel Barons will open up the regular season with new head coach Trevor Blanchard with the league’s first game as they host Abitibi on Sept. 4 at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

 

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