In a perfect junior hockey world, each player would “lace ‘em up” for one season and then take off for college hockey the following year.
By Neil Ravin
It’s just not that easy when it comes to hockey. The battle starts with the number of roster spots, then the fight for ice time, and so on. Tack on each player’s academic goals and sometimes returning for a second season of junior hockey is a good idea.
For the East Coast Wizards, head coach Freddy Meyer envisions that he’ll have at least five players return to the Edge Sports Center in Bedford, Mass., this Fall. This gives each player a chance to keep improving their game, and solidify the perfect next step for themselves after junior hockey.
“Every situation is different,” said Meyer. “Each player has a different mindset of where they want that next step to be. For some guys, it takes more than just one year to get there. Assistant coach Kory Falite and I are excited to bring back a small core of players from last year’s team.
“We’re definitely proud of what we accomplished this past season, but now the goals are even higher,” said Meyer.
“We’re striving for more NCAA placements, along with more success on the ice, again this season.”
Some groups click differently than others. For the Wizards, there were a lot of questions this past season after the team began the year winless in their first seven games. From there, their fortunes changed quickly as they went on to have the best season in franchise history.
“It was a great year, and that group of guys has a lot to be proud of. Now it’s time for the guys that are returning to lead a new set of guys who are coming in eager to pick up where we left off,” said Meyer.
As the EHL starts to form the schedule, players like Matt Cappucci and Michael Namon are preparing for their second season in the league. For these two players, and all the Wizards, every game is crucial towards preparing themselves for the next level.
As the Wizards like to say, you always have to #BringTheMagic.
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