The Connecticut RoughRiders have added a great deal of talent to their team, both at the goalie and forward positions as they gear up for the rapidly approaching season.
By Brian Lester
Two new goalies and six forwards are among the newcomers for 2017-18.
The group includes goalie Jeremy Thelven, a native of Sweden whose father (Michael) played for the Boston Bruins in the 1980s. Thelven has been attracting a lot of college interest and will be familiar with at least one of his teammates. Fellow newcomer Andrew Ray played with Thelven at North Yarmouth Academy in Maine.
The RoughRiders also welcome in goalie Ryan Bonnvie from the Tilton School, of New Hampshire. Like Thelven, he’s generating a lot of interest from colleges and will have an opportunity to play a key role on the defense.
The forward position has been solidified as well, especially with the addition of Ray, who is one of two 1997-born players on the roster.
Like Thelven, Adam Sandberg-Nilsson also hails from Sweden. Blake Halfpenny comes to the RoughRiders after playing for the Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League last season.
Cullen Kane, the cousin of Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, is taking his talents to Connecticut. He played for the Fort Erie Meteors last year.
The other forwards are Tommy Schwartz and Mitchell Parsons. Parsons played for the North Iowa Bulls of the NA3HL. Schwartz is a product of the RoughRiders’ program (and the Oilers, as the RoughRiders were previously known). He has attended the program’s summer hockey schools.
RoughRiders head coach Eric Lind is thrilled about the additions to the team. He can’t wait to see how things work out for them in their first season with the RoughRiders.
Camp for the team starts Sunday, Aug. 27.
“I’m real excited about this team,” Lind said, about a week before the start of camp. “The players we added have great character. I have a feeling this could be one of our better teams we’ve had here.”
The Connecticut RoughRiders have a very unique training and development program that focuses on Periodization, splitting the halves of the season into two specific phases of preparation, competition and rest.
For more information about Periodization and the Connecticut RoughRiders program, go online to www.ct-roughriders.com or call Eric Lind at 888-326-7989.
RoughRiders players play in between 50-70 games per season. This includes games at four well-scouted Eastern Hockey League showcases and in the EHL playoffs.