Lakers sign pair

Lucas Punkari

But lose
With training camp just over a week away, the Fort Frances Lakers continued to build their roster for the upcoming season by signing two new faces.
But the local Junior ‘A’ squad also lost a player prior to the start of the campaign.
Coming to the team are local defenceman Jon Carlson and Manitoba-born forward Wayne Folster.
Potential newcomer Payton Ruter, however, elected to join the Alexandria Blizzard of the NAHL for the 2011-12 season instead of suiting up for the Lakers.
In Carlson, a 17-year-old blueliner from Fort Frances, the Lakers pick up a player who has spent the last two seasons with the Thunder Bay Kings’ program.
He was an eighth round draft pick by the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s in last year’s priority selection.
“Jon’s a player that we wish we would have had last season, but we are very excited to have him in a Lakers’ uniform this year,” enthused head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan.
“He played one game with us last year in the playoffs against Wisconsin and he did not look out of place at all for a young 16-year-old.
“He’s been to a few USHL camps, as well as our summer camp, and impressed at both, and I think once he gets a few games under his belt, he will be a good contributor back on our defensive core,” Strachan added.
As for Folster, a forward from Norway House, Man., the 18-year-old joins the Lakers after playing for the Norway House NorthStars of the KJHL last year, where he notched 38 points in 29 games.
“Wayne is a player that we have talked to over the summer months to try and draw him our way,” Strachan noted.
“We are hoping Wayne will come in, work hard to be in good shape, and put up some offensive numbers for us.
“He has good size as he stands at 6’2” and weighs 190 pounds, so we believe that he can come in and not only contribute to one of our top lines, but also replace the size presence of losing Payton Ruter,” Strachan noted.
Ruter, a 6’2”, 225-pound forward from New London, Mn., had signed with the Lakers at the end of June from the Granite City Lumberjacks of Minnesota Junior Hockey League.
But the 18-year-old instead decided to join up with the Blizzard for the upcoming season.
“Payton cited being 45 minutes from his home, being close to his family and friends, as well as his schooling, as the reasons for him changing his mind,” Strachan said.
Lakers’ fans will have a chance to see Carlson and Folster, along with the rest of the potential roster, in action starting next Thursday (Aug. 25) when the team kicks off its annual training camp.
In related news, Strachan said the team currently is looking for billet families for the 2011-12 season.
Those interested can contact Mary Cooper (274-6608) or Mary Polz (274-7264).