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NOJHL team previews: Elliot Lake Wildcats

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE

Release Date: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015

NOJHL team previews: Elliot Lake Wildcats

SUDBURY – As a first year team in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League last season, the Elliot Lake Wildcats impressed mightily.

Finishing with the third-best record in the NOJHL in 2014-15, Elliot Lake advanced all the way to the league semifinals before falling to the eventual champion Soo Thunderbirds.

Here’s a look at some key returning players as well as some notable newcomers put together by Wildcats general manager Todd Stencill and head coach Nathan Hewitt.

TEAM: Elliot Lake Wildcats

GM: Todd Stencill

HEAD COACH: Nathan Hewitt

NOTABLE RETURNEES

SPENCER MACLEAN, FORWARD: The 19-year-old from Kleinburg, Ont., was a strong player for Elliot Lake on both ends of the ice in 2014-15 and was named a first team all-star.

In 48 games he picked up 66 points on 29 goals and 37 assists.

“Spencer is our highest scoring returning forward and as a veteran, we expect him to deliver offense and leadership,” offered Wildcats general manager Todd Stencill.

NATHAN CAMPBELL, DEFENCE: The 20-year-old from Toronto contributed mightily both offensively and defensively for the Wildcats last season leading all blueliners on the team in scoring with 51 points in 52 outings, including scoring 22 times.

He paced all everyday NOJHL defencemen in goals and points and was a member of Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge.

“Nathan is a dynamic defenseman,” stated Stencill. “He excels on the power play and is dependable five-on-five and shorthanded.  When he applies his physical game, he’s arguably the best D in the league.”

ALLAN MENARY, GOALTENDER: Another returnee for Elliot Lake is netminder Menary.

In 18 appearances last season the 18-year-old from Barrie posted a solid 14-2 record with a 2.73 average and .909 save percentage.

“Allan has shown very well in the pre-season and we expect him to carry his stellar play into the regular season,” summarized the Elliot Lake GM.

NOTABLE NEWCOMERS

CHAD LOPEZ, FORWARD: One of the new faces on the Wildcats roster is the 18-year-old Lopez, who is a native of Arlington, Texas.

He played USPHL Elite league last season with the Richmond Generals where he contributed 25 points in 40 games on 12 tallies and 13 helpers.

“Chad comes to us from the Richmond Generals USPHL,” stated Stencill. “He’s offensively gifted and loves the physical play. We’ll be counting on him to get the job done as a top six forward.”

TROY BUTTON, DEFENCE: Joining the team from the Michigan high school ranks, Button brings an offensive upside as well to the Elliot Lake defensive corps.

In 72 career games he had 61 points on 14 markers and 47 assists.

“Troy played for Royal Oak High School in Michigan last year who is a steady right-handed defenseman that will be relied on to play an important shut down role.”

DREW STIRLING, DEFENCE: Making the move from Cambridge of the GOJHL is rearguard Stirling.

The stay-at-home type defenceman had five assists in 42 games while picking up 84 minutes in penalties.

“Drew makes a solid first pass and has good puck poise, which is something we probably lacked on the back end last season,” said Stencill.

NOTABLE RETURNEES

High scoring forwards Shane Woolsey and Alec Mackenzie are also back for another season in Elliot Lake as are top defensive forwards Liam Blais and Jason Wilson.