Icecaps 2012-2013 Season Preview

It mSt John s Ice Caps” target=”_blank”>St St John s Ice Caps John s Ice Caps ay seem cliché, but the St. John’s IceCaps could not have asked for a good deal extra of their inaugural season.

Three AHL All-Star picks? Check. Atlantic Division identify? Done. Forty-six consecutive sellouts at Mile One Centre? Absolutely.

So, what do you do for an encore?

The IceCaps will start to answer St John s Ice Caps that query Saturday night in Springfield after they open up the 2012-thirteen season against the Falcons.

With a strong of returning players and an infusion of latest expertise – each young and old in phrases of AHL enjoy – the IceCaps are poised to St John s Ice Caps take the subsequent step and reach the Calder Cup Finals.

Some questions nonetheless stay, however:

Can captain Jason Jaffray return from neck surgical treatment to steer this team yet again?

Jaffray suffered a season-finishing neck harm on March 28 in a game at Norfolk while he become hit tough into the boards by using Admirals defenceman Radko Gudas and has not performed a sport considering that. He has been skating throughout schooling camp and the early season St John s Ice Caps practices, despite the fact that he did no longer participate in any exhibition games. The captain will probably take a seat out the first avenue experience and purpose to make his season debut next Friday within the IceCaps’ domestic opener. A wholesome Jaffray will go a protracted way in helping this group compete once St John s Ice Caps more for a Calder Cup.

What does All-Rookie goaltender Eddie Pasquale have in shop after a strong rookie season?

After prevailing a 3-way battle for the starting goaltending activity midway via remaining season, Pasquale went directly to post a solid 23-12-1 report with a 2.forty one goals-against common and a .911 shop percentage and upped his sport even extra inside the postseason. In 15 playoff contests, Pasquale posted a St John s Ice Caps .923 save percentage and turned into frequently serenaded with chants of “Eddie! Eddie!”, ringing at some point of Mile One Centre. He received’t must strugglegoalies this season, but he does have opposition in Mark Dekanich, who is one season eliminated from leading the AHL in store percent (.931). Dekanich neglected almost all of 2011-12 because of harm but will see his truthful proportion of playing time with so many back-to-again video games on the agenda.

How will the defence corps evaluate to final 12 months’s squad?

Despite the return of ultimate year’s pinnacle two blueliners in All-Stars Paul Postma and Zach Redmond, the IceCaps’ lower back stop may have a distinct look this season. Gone are steady stay-at-domestic d-men Arturs Kulda and Brett Festerling. The durable Travis Ramsey returns, but after that it’s a mixture of learners and veterans who spent 2011-12 with St John s Ice Caps other clubs or did not see regular gambling time even as with St. John’s. Three-time captain Dean Arsene came over from the Portland Pirates inside the offseason and should be any other steadying presence, combining robust management abilties with a physical nastiness, some thing lacking at instances for the IceCaps closing season. Derek Meech, who played just 3 regular season video games however proper up for all 15 playoff contests, need to be round all season barring a go back of the NHL. Rounding out the defence corps are newbies Ben Chiarot, Julian Melchiori and Will O’Neill. All three spent various quantities of time with the IceCaps remaining season and may be counted on more this 12 months to provide depth.

What can we anticipate from the brand new faces on the town?

We’ve already cited Dekanich and Arsene, two loose agent signings with the aid of wellknown supervisor Craig Heisinger at some point of the summer season. Joining them might be St John s Ice Caps forwards Hunter Tremblay, Derek Whitmore, Brian Sutherby, Ryan Schnell and Ray Kaunisto, all of whom hung out within the AHL remaining season. Tremblay performed in 68 video games for Oklahoma City in his rookie season, scoring 16 dreams and completing first inside the league with seven shorthanded points and tied for first with five shorthanded goals. Whitmore finished his fourth complete professional season, scoring a profession-excessive and crew-main 28 dreams for the Rochester Americans at the same time as serving as assistant captain. Sutherby, a veteran of 460 career NHL games, became introduced in as a jack-of-all-trades forward, capable of kill consequences, offer electricity and even chip in at the electricity play. Schnell cut up final season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL) and Wheeling (ECHL), racking up 154 penalty mins in only 30 overall games. Finally, Kaunisto is coming off his sophomore season as a member of division rival Manchester and performed in seventy four video games, suitable for third at the group. It could be tough to find gambling time with this sort of glut of forwards, however the diverse organization offers head teach Keith McCambridge lots of options must accidents get up or the NHL go back to action later in the season.

Will the Russian duo of Alex Burmistrov and Ivan Telegin provide a few flash up the front?

The clean solution to that is sure. Though Burmistrov changed into not featured in an offensive position with the Winnipeg Jets ultimate season, he’ll genuinely take delivery of lots greater opportunities to showcase his titanic expertise in St. John’s. The 20-12 months-old centre (he turns 21 just one week into the season) has already played in one hundred fifty NHL video games. He could be used in all situations and have to have no problem placing up factors. Meanwhile, Telegin is yet some other blue-chip prospect who comes to St. John’s after a notable season with the Barrie Colts (OHL), where he teamed up with fellow Jets prospect Mark Scheifele. Just 19 years of age, Telegin is coming off a 35-purpose season with Barrie and additionally positioned up 14 factors (5 dreams, 9 assists) in 13 playoff video games. The talented Russian has each length and velocity and need to be one to keep an eye fixed on.

Can final yr’s center organization of forwards repeat or enhance upon their performance from a year ago?

In addition to the aforementioned Jaffray, the IceCaps will deliver back a collection of forwards that helped the group finish fourth overall in dreams for notwithstanding having just one 20-goal scorer: local boy Jason King, who completed with 22. Leading scorer Spencer Machacek (18 desires, 32 assists), Patrice Cormier (18 desires) and Carl Klingberg (15 dreams as a rookie) all spent some time in Winnipeg last season and go back to the IceCaps, as do Ben Maxwell, Aaron Gagnon, John Albert, Ray Sawada, Max Macenauer, Kevin Clark, Eric O’Dell and Jason Gregoire. Depth will not be an problem.

The answers to those questions – and more – will become clearer beginning on Saturday night time.

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