Published on June 18, 2013
Grant Janes of Kingston was one of two Valley Midget AAA Wildcats’ players chosen in the recent QMJHL draft. - John DeCoste, www.kingscountynews.ca
Published on August 23, 2013
Valley Junior A Wildcats
By John DeCoste
The new Valley junior A Wildcats have finalized their roster and are ready to go for their home opener Friday evening at 7:30 at the Kentville Centennial Arena.
“You never know with junior hockey, but these are the players we’ll be starting the season with,” head coach Nick Greenough said Sept. 11 of the new Maritime Junior Hockey League squad formerly the Metro Shipbuilders.
“We’re pretty excited to get going. We’re looking to be competitive right out of the gate, and we’ll be looking to get into the win column this weekend.”
After hosting Amherst Ramblers Sept. 13, the Wildcats are right back on home ice Sept. 14 at 7:30 against the Campbellton Tigers. .
The Wildcats roster, as listed on the league website includes seven players born in 1993, six in 1994, five in 1995, one in 1996 and two in 1997, including the team’s top draft choice - goalie Blade Mann-Dixon.
Veteran Jeff Arkin, who played last season with Metro, Mann-Dixon, formerly of the Cape Breton West major midget, and Jack Flinn are listed as goalies.
Defencemen include Craig Langille, Kaden Ruest, Chris Clark, Austin Harding, Erik Campbell and Kentville native Brady Atwater.
Ruest played last season with the Shipbuilders, and Langille with the Bridgewater Lumberjacks. Clark played Junior B with the Bay Ducks; Harding played midget AAA in Dartmouth; Campbell played with the Cape Breton Tradesmen midget AAA team and Atwater last played with the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans.
Forwards on the roster include Brandon Boutilier, Pat MacIsaac, Brandon Weir, Justin Thomas, Brad Ryckman, Darcy Burley, Anthony Cardinal, Mitchell Jones, Mike Molloy, Jamie MacIntyre, Colby Tower and Kingston native Grant Janes.
Janes, 17, and Atwater, 18, are the Valley boys on the team. Janes played last season with the midget AAA Wildcats and recently returned from a tryout with the Acadie Bathurst Titan.
“Grant played for me last season with the midgets and we signed Brady as a free agent,” Greenough said. “Both players excelled at camp and will add a lot to our team.”
Greenough acknowledged Atwater’s path to Junior hockey was “kind of unusual.
“It shows the kind of talent Brady has to jump directly to Junior A from the high school ranks.”
Of the other forwards, Boutilier, Burley, MacIsaac, Thomas, Ryckman, Molloy, Jones, MacIntyre and Cardinal all played for Metro last season, with Boutilier serving as the Shipbuilders’ team captain.
Weir, a P.E.I. native in his final year of junior eligibility, formerly played with the P.E.I. Rocket. Tower, the other 16-year-old on the roster, and Mann-Dixon were teammates in Cape Breton West last season.
To Greenough, it’s “a really good mix of players.
“We’ve got some guys in their last year of junior who’ll be looking to finish up with good years and we’re looking good for the future with some good young players,” the coach said.
“The younger players will push the older players, and the older players should push the younger players.”
Greenough expected a tough test from Amherst, a veteran team with a physical presence.
Campbellton “is a lot like we are,” he said, with a mix of youth and experience. “We’re excited to get the season going and see what happens.”