2017-18 Season Previewby Marcel Cormier | October 30, 2017, 1:01 AM ET
The Acadia Golden Bears are a motivated group. Looking to return to the top of the SICHL standings and contend for a 5th Continental Cup, the Bears return most of a roster from a season ago which fared well before a surprise early exit in the playoffs.
For the first time in a couple of seasons, the Bears have made roster moves based on promotion from within as young, drafted assets have played their way onto the team in place of old, veterans. Taken 6th overall in 2015, Rantanen is expected to begin his rookie SICHL campaign in a top 6 role, possibly alongside captain Claude Giroux. His progression has pushed veteran Jordan Eberle out of that spot, at least to begin the year. Shore and Copp will likely rotate in and out of the line up on the 4th line while the acquisition of Patrick Maroon was made to bolster the club's offensive punch from the left wing.
Meanwhile, the blueline will see the addition of two rookies to replace longtime Bears. It would be unfair to suggest that Parayko and Carlo can step in and take over the roles of Byfuglien and Orpik but both appear ready to secure their position at the SICHL level. Parayko will be in the opening night roster while Carlo, as the 7th guy, will stay in Val d'Or where he will play every night.
Head coach Dave Hakstol spoke highly of his team at yesterday's pre-season media availability.
"It's a solid mix of players from top to bottom," he said, "I think we have the right mix of veterans and youth, attack and defence, size, speed and grit. Plus our goaltending is as good as anyone's."
Acadia will watch the first two evenings of SICHL action before finally making their debut. The first club on the agenda is the newly revamped Toronto Metropolitans who Acadia will face twice to begin the year.
Acadia prospects off to a notable start in 2017-18:
- Wade Allison: 2-7-9 points in 7 games for Western Michigan Broncos.
- Jaret Anderson-Dolan: 4-11-15 in 14 games for Spokane Chiefs.
- Kieffer Bellows: 10-11-21 in 13 games, leading team in scoring for Portland Winterhawks.
- Brock Boeser: 2-7-9 and leading some team called the "Canucks" in scoring.
- Brandon Hagel: 5-13-18 and leading the Red Deer Rebels in scoring.
- Cooper Marody: 1-6-7 and leading the Michigan Wolverines in scoring.
- Matthew Phillips: 15-19-34 in 17 games and leading the Victoria Royals in scoring.
- Tyler Soy: 7-13-20 in 12 games with the Victoria Royals.
- Giorgio Estephan: 5-15-20 in 13 games, leading the Lethbridge Hurricanes in scoring.
- Alexandre Texier: 4G leads KalPa mens team in goal scoring.
- (D) Michael Anderson: 3-3-6 and leading Minnesota Duluth defencemen in scoring.
- (D) Ethan Bear: 2-3-5 and leading the Bakersfield Condors in scoring.
- (G) Colton Point: .955 sv% (1st) 1.280 GAA (1st) in NCAA for Colgate University Raiders.