Lakers announce three new signings as SIJHL signing period begins

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

The SIJHL signing period opened on Tuesday and the Fort Frances Lakers have announced three new commitments.

Grady Holden and Dakota Cooper were on hand in Fort Frances to sign their commitment for the Lakers on Tuesday. Both local products played for the Thunder Bay Kings U18 AAA program last year.

Holden is a six foot, 205 lbs defenseman who was an affiliate of the Kam River Walleye last season.

“Grady brings size and strength to our defensive zone,” said Lakers Head Coach, Tyler Miller.

“He brings a good first pass out of the zone with heads-up hockey on the back end. His size

and strength will help our defense win battles.”

In two games with the Walleye last season Holden recorded four penalty minutes.

“Grady is a local player that our coaching staff is familiar with,” said Lakers General Manager,

Luke Judson. “He’s got some great experience with the Thunder Bay Kings, and as an AP with

Kam River. We’re excited about his growth and development on and off the ice and are

looking forward to seeing him in a Lakers jersey this season.”

Cooper is a six foot 194 lbs Forward and was an affiliate player with the lakers last year, getting into two games.

Dakota is a good addition to our lineup,” said Lakers Head Coach, Tyler Miller. “He is a power

forward who plays physical, works hard, and has skill to go with that power forward role. He’s committed to improving his game and has been putting in the off-ice work that needs to

be done to make the jump to Junior Hockey this season.”

During the press conference announcing the signing Judson and Miller said the two local boys were some of the few who have been at all of the Lakers offseason workouts so far this year.

On Tuesday the Lakers announced the signing of goaltender Nolan Koethler.

A product of Drayton Valley, AB, Koethler has spent the last three season with the Leduc Oil Kings AAA program.

Coming in around six foot two and 170 lbs, he had a .900 save percentage over 20 games and a .909 save percentage during the Oil Kings’ playoff run.

“Nolan is a player we’ve watched throughout the season,” said Lakers General Manager,

Luke Judson. “We’re impressed with how much he’s developed as a player. It’s a testament to

his strong work ethic, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to Fort Frances.”

Follow the Fort Frances Lakers on Facebook ( and Instagram (@lakersjuniora) to watch how they continue to build the team over the course of the rest of the offseason.