Two more new faces will be looking to win over local hockey hearts this coming season, but at least they’ll be familiar to each other.
The Fort Frances Lakers announced last Wednesday the signing of forward Mitch Kocsis, a 20-year-old out of Martensville, Sask., who played the past two seasons with the Cheyenne Stampede of the Western States Hockey League.
Then yesterday, the team revealed it has signed one of Kocsis’ teammates from the Stampede in 18-year-old forward Jordan Sgro from Derry, Pa.
“Mitch is a mature player who has strong character,” Lakers’ head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan said in a press release about Kocsis.
“He understands what it takes to play at this level and has an endless work ethic,” added Strachan.
“Mitch will bring a veteran presence to our team and we are glad to have him join the program.”
The six-foot, 181-pounder had 15 points and 100 penalty minutes in 50 regular-season games last season, then was held pointless in two playoff games.
Sgro was an even more potent offensive force, notching 30 points in 48 games with Cheyenne while also garnering 100 penalty minutes.
“Jordan is a player that can bring a lot of different skills to a hockey team,” noted Strachan.
“He is a fast, energetic player that can play with an edge,” he said. “He will hound pucks and he has the skill set to produce in our league.
“We are very happy to have Jordan join the program.”
The Lakers will hold their main training camp Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at the Ice For Kids Arena.
In other news, the SIJHL announced Friday it has joined in a three-year partnership agreement with Northland Distribution Ltd., effective this season, to assist the league and its member clubs in providing game uniforms, equipment, bags, off-ice apparel, nutritional products, and other related materials.
Based in Niagara Falls, Northland Distribution has worked with hundreds of junior and collegiate hockey teams in delivering professional service and top-quality products to meet the unique needs of teams in various leagues across the country.
“We at the SIJHL are pleased to join in partnership with Northland Distribution,” league commissioner Bryan Graham said in a press release.
“Their work with other teams and organizations within the confines of the Canadian Junior Hockey League speaks highly of their commitment and service they provide,” he noted.
“The Northland team will provide a layer of support to our league member clubs, as well as our players, to ensure a continued level of the highest standards.”
“We are thrilled to have come to terms on a partnership agreement with the SIJHL,” echoed Northland Distribution president and founder Jeff Corey.
“We look forward to getting to working with the league over the course of the agreement and beyond,” he said.
“We also look forward to supporting SIJHL initiatives over the course of the term, and aiding the league’s efforts in bolstering their image in the marketplace.”
The SIJHL begins its regular season Sept. 22.