Logan's Run

Acadia has added another goaltender to the SICHL roster in time for the start of the 2023-24 season.
by Marcel Cormier | October 29, 2023, 6:38 PM ET

With the SICHL Draft and Free Agency madness now in the rear view mirror, the Acadia Grizzly Bears have shifted their focus on the coming season. The team has officially announced that they have acquired 25-year-old netminder Logan Thompson from the Jacksonville Gators in exchange for a pair of young, top prospects from the GHA roster as well as a 2nd round pick in 2025 and a cheque for a cool $10M. 

The two prospects involved in the deal are 22-year-old defender Calen Addison, a 2nd round pick in 2018, and Brendan Brisson who the Bears chose in the 1st round just a few years ago in 2020. Addison's stock had done nothing but rise since he was chosen and the former Lethbridge Hurricane actually appeared in 2 SICHL games for Acadia a couple of years ago and earned an assist.

It's a steep price to pay for Thompson who was never drafted and has all of 45 SICHL games on his resumé.

"It's a seller's market, especially for goaltenders," said Acadia GM Guy Flaming. "We believe that in this day and age, you need a platoon system of goaltenders if you have any hope for success. There are maybe 3-4 teams in the league that think they have a guy that can play 75 games or more but for the most part, you have to have two guys you can rely on, if not three, in your system. We've felt very confident with Tristan Jarry but we didn't think it was fair to expect Alex Nedeljkovic to shoulder the #2 role at this point in his career. We've got a #1 in Jarry but I think we now have a legit #1B with Logan Thompson."

Thompson is a classic late bloomer. He spent his WHL career with the Brandon Wheat Kings but was never really a starter in the league until his final season.

"Honestly, he was pretty average in the WHL," said Bears head amateur scout Chris McCarthy, "It's what he has done since then that has elevated his game."

The Calgary product spent a season playing USports Hockey with Brock University and then spent sometime with some low-level minor league teams before being signed to a SICHL contract by the now defunct franchise that was in Brandon. The Gators plucked him from the expansion draft and between the two franchises he appeared in 45 games but managed a .913 sv%.

"We liked what we saw from Thompson and with feeling like we needed to support Jarry more this year, we contacted the Gators when they made it known that they were listening to offers," said Flaming, "We weren't the only team making a pitch and that's another reason why it cost us as much as it did."

So why were the Bears willing to cough up two prospects that appeared to be pretty key pieces of their future?

"Depth" Flaming stated. "We wanted to address out depth in goal and to do so we dealt from positions of depth within our organization. We really like both of the guys we gave up and think, Calen especially, they are going to be big SICHL contributors. But when we looked at our depth chart, Addison was behind 9 other guys just this year and next year we think Brock Faber will be ready for full time SICHL duty and Wyatt Kaiser is knocking on the door too. So that depth made Addison an asset that we can survive without."

"Brisson is younger but in a similar situation," Flaming explained, "Noah Cates, Phil Tomasino, Morgan Barron, Ryan Poehling - they all passed him on our depth chart and will probably all play for the Bears this year.

"Then there is Shane Pinto and when it comes to him for this season, we think that he's worth gambling on," Flaming dead-panned, "You can say that our chips are in the middle of the table because we're all in for Pinto. It's like when Luke Skywalker said to R2-D2 when they were on the Millenium Eagle in that asteroid field; 'You should not tell me about the odds!' and that's how sure of a bet we think Pinto is." 

As for the 2nd round pick?

"We made sure that it was in 2025 because we don't have out 1st on 2024 so didn't want to also be without our 2nd in the same draft," Flaming said, "Dusty was cool with that and then it was just a matter of some cash which for us is fairly easy to come by because we are a playoff team."

Who get's the start on opening night?

"Tristan Jarry is our #1 goalie and will be in net on opening night," stated head coach Dave Hakstol, "We haven't actually seen the schedule yet but Jars will start the first game of the year and also the first home game of the season, they may or may not be the same thing. That said, it won't be a long wait for Logan because I want to get everyone involved as early as possible."

Bear Tracks

  • Conner Roulette scored four goals against the Kelowna Rockets on Friday night. The Spokane Chiefs forward has 17 points through 12 games. (4th round 2021)
  • Red Deer forward Carson Latimer is also off to a fantastic start as he's racked up 15 points in 13 games. (3rd round 2021
  • Not to be outdone, Saskatoon Blades import forward Yegor Sidorov has 8 goals and 14 points in 11 outings. (3rd round 2023
  • Drummondville Voltigeurs forward Ethan Gauthier has 13 points in 13 games. (1st round 2023)
  • Acadia's lone free agent signing was goaltender Taylor Gauthier. The Calgary product spent most of his WHL career with the Prince George Cougars but ended it in Portland with the Winterhawks. Over his WHL Career, the now 21-year-old Gauthier managed a .909 sv% despite playing for teams with a combined 77-91-16 record.  

Licking Their Wounds

  • Seattle Thunderbirds forward Nico Myatovic will be sidelined for 8-12 weeks with a broken ankle. (2nd round 2023)
  • Calum Ritchie of the Oshawa Generals has yet to play a game as he is still recoverying from off season shoulder work. (1st round 2023)
  • Michigan Wolverines defenceman Ethan Edwards has also yet to dress this year thanks to a shoulder injury. (4th round 2020)
  • GHA forwards Tristen Robins, Carter Mazur and Jay O'Brien have all been sidelined due to injury but are expected to be back playing "soon". 

Comments

Log in to view or add comments.