The roster building for the 2011/2012 edition of the Fort Frances Lakers continues to take place, as the team signed three more players to the squad earlier this week.
Returning from last year’s squad that made the SIJHL semi-finals are defenders Connor Hady and Josh Scott, while the Lakers have also brought in a fresh face for the upcoming campaign in forward Ben Michaud.
Hady, a 19 year-old from Hermantown, MN., will be returning for his second season in Fort Frances after scoring five goals and picking up 12 assists in 54 games in his rookie year.
“We are very happy to have Connor back in a Lakers uniform,” head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan enthused.
“We were uncertain up until this past Saturday as to if he would return to our team, as he was a high pick (44th overall) in the NAHL draft to Alaska (Avalanche), however he has decided to come back and he will be relied upon to take our defence by the horns, and to also be one of our top contributors on both offence and defence.
“Connor grew a lot as a person and a player last season, and we are excited to have him back,” Strachan added.
As for Scott, a native of Fort Frances, this season will be his third for his hometown side after he posted career highs in both goals (3) and assists (10) last year.
“Josh will be relied on to be a leader for us this season,” Strachan said.
“We are hoping Josh will be bring some experience, solid defensive play and also a physical style of play on a consistent basis.
“Josh is one of six 20 year-olds that we have now brought back and that we hope can help lead us to the finals of the SIJHL this season,” Strachan reasoned.
Scott and Hady will be re-joined with Ryan Wildman, Marty McFadden, Tyler Ampe, Byron Katapaytuk, Blake Boaz and Henry Gutierrez from last year’s squad.
In Michaud, who is from Cloquet, played last season for the Colquet/Esko/Carlton Lumberjacks high school team, where he had 10 goals and 24 assists in 20 games.
“We are looking for Ben to come in and be a strong role type player, and also be good in both ends of the ice,” Strachan explained.
“He is a strong skater who plays a physical type of game, and we also hope that he can be a solid penalty killer for us,” he added.
Cloquet joins Payton Ruter and Jordan Larson as new players that the Lakers have brought in during the off-season.