September 01, 2013

2013 67's Training Camp; The Cuts

Training camp can be the greatest time in a young player's life, and this past week's 67's camp was no exception with a few kids and families getting the surprise of a lifetime when they were on the final roster, but it can also be the most painful.

For some, getting cut is just an experience.  For junior journeymen who happened to get an invite, it's a great learning opportunity.  For 16-year old draft picks, it's just another bump in the road and part of getting into junior hockey, with hopes that they're in the team's future plans.

And for some, it's an absolute heartbreak, the realization that a spot on a Major Junior team is no longer a possibility, and that a dream is all but out of grasp now.

This isn't an easy time for coaching staffs either.  Chris Byrne was likely a bit torn on Friday and Saturday as he sent 24 young men home.

No longer returning

RW Mark Petaccio - Petaccio was accidentally listed as a free agent on the original training camp roster sheet, but within 48 hours of camp starting, he was officially a free agent.

As a 19-year old, the writing was on the wall as Byrne wants to get younger players into checking roles.  Petaccio was plenty physical and fast during the scrimmages he took part in, but he would've needed a mircale to make it through camp.

Petaccio's chemistry with John Urbanic dates back to their time with the Oshawa Generals, but the two were in competition for a spot it seemed, and the team made it clear early on that they wanted Urbanic to stay.

D Matt Desautels - He didn't make very many mistakes at training camp, but if Desautels were to stand a chance of making the team, he would've had to replicate last year's training camp, where he was one of the best defencemen on the ice the entire time.

Desautels came flying out of the gate last year, getting ice time in place of highly-touted Jonathan Duchesne who struggled to start.

However, concussion issues hampered the 18-year old's season, and he saw less and less ice time when he was in the lineup.  There was a sense that the 67's brass were ready to move on from Desautels, and with Troy Henley and the imports holding their own, he lost his spot and was cut.

RW Kevin Groulx - After playing 11 games and putting up a solid performance at camp, Groulx seemed like the best possible fit to replace Petaccio, but instead was a last-minute cut, assigned to Kanata of the CCHL.

Groulx appears to be bigger and faster, but could still use the extra year at a slightly lower level.  If the 67's decide for a second year in a row that they want to call him up for a few games mid-season, he isn't far away.

Originally expected to take spots

G Dan Potter - It was a strong training camp in 2012 that put him on the 67's radar and it was a rough 2013 training camp that may have put an end to his OHL hopes.

Potter allowed five goals on the first seven shots during his first scrimmage, and allowed another five goals in under nine minutes the next day.  As a result, he was the first netminder to get cut.

NCAA eligibility now offers another option for Potter as he's able to look outside of Major Junior for a future in hockey.

LW Connor Graham - Some didn't even expect Graham to sign with Ottawa after being acquired with a draft pick for defenceman Sean Callaghan, but he did and was a pleasant surprise in training camp.

He started to really show up on the second day of camp, playing alongside Joseph Blandisi and assisted on two of his goals.

At the end of the day, Graham wouldn't have fit into a bottom-six role, and was sent home.  As a '96-born, he may have a chance to return next year and have an impact.


C Max Veronneau - One of the more interesting surprises of training camp, Veronneau just lost out to the numbers game at center.  As a smaller player, Veronneau needed to show his offensive skill to get noticed and he did just that.

At the end of the day, he wasn't big enough or talented enough to keep up with the likes of Travis Konecny or Dante Salituro, but he was still an exciting player to watch.  He could be back as an 18-year old to challenge for a spot.

D Mathieu Galipeau - If he's going to make it in the OHL, it's probably going to be in a tough guy role.  Galipeau dropped the gloves at rookie camp and did everything to try and get under the skin of opposing players during camp.

The Hawkesbury Hawks defender plays a similar game to Ryan Shipley who made the cut last season, but Shipley made last year's team more as a trade chip than a roster player, a luxury that Galipeau didn't have.

RW Maxime St. Pierre - The 200th overall pick in 2012 was a physical force in rookie camp, and although he wasn't all that noticeable on day one of training camp, St. Pierre really showed up in the final two days and was a last-second cut.

After a toe-to-toe fight with Jake Middleton, St. Pierre started playing more physical and used his size around the net more.

He could have been a great fit to replace Petaccio, but the 67's decided that it was more beneficial to let St. Pierre play top line minutes in Junior 'A'.

LW Ethan Wiseman - Another tough customer who tried to make his mark by dropping the gloves at camp, Wiseman fought and decisively beat Groulx during the second day and managed to stay around until the final day of camp.  A 2013 pick, there's still time for him to make his presence felt in the future.

C Branden Makara - Makara was listed at only 140 pounds coming into camp but managed to have an impact in the opposing team's end the whole time he was around.  He played on a line with Urbanic the whole time, and had no trouble keeping up with the veteran forward.

Other cuts:
G Joel Horodziejczyk
G Marcus Semiao

D Matthew Mercer
D Nicholas Ngwafusi
D Nicolas Schuler
D Michael Constantine
D Stephen Jablonski
D Noah Delmas

C Isaak Iacobucci
C Ben Fanjoy
RW Theo Lewis
LW Jesse Pereira
LW Nicholas Coates
LW Brandon Zullo


The long and winding road said...

The cuts seem geared to living with a marginally competitive team this year, as a step to building a much stronger team over the next three. It may hurt for a while, but there is certainly a lot of potential there. The 1994's may find themselves being used as trade material to that end.

Mattren said...

Unfortunately Ottawa is weaker than last year on defense. first and foremost they have replaced Big Mike with Lituniemi. He's not has good offensively or defensively. Henley did not show me anything during camp, not a very good skater and brings no offense. Sloboda in my mind is where they are making a mistake, gets beat a lot outside for a kid that has played all his life on a large ice surface, will not play every game and chances are that he's gonna want to go home. Europeans don't come here to sit. Duchesne is better than Callaghan defensively but not has tough. If he doesn't try to do too much he's okay. Davis looked good, he seems to have matured a bit. Nevin Guy will bring offence but he's going to hurt you in the defensive zone. Not heavy enough and looses battles in corners and in front of net. Middleton needs a bigger helmet, that kid has to come down to earth. Take away his size and he's an average player. Made a lot of mistakes in camp, needs to mature. Vlajkov got better has the week went on but needs to stay healthy. He has to keep is game simple if he tries to do too much he's in trouble. I feel really bad for Desautels one of the best skaters on the team to be replaced by question marks. They didn't give him a fair chance considering he missed the last 20 games of the season.