The Espanola Express are moving forward as the team continues to build, with the addition of two new forwards to the line up. Even though the team continues to move forward and improve considerably with every game they play, some roster changes are imminant to remain competitive at this level. The express management are working tirelessly to improve the roster and create a successful atmosphere as they build their team from scratch. “most teams in the league have up to 10-15 veterans returning to their line ups from the past season and we unfortunately do not have that luxury”, stated GM Chad Clarke. “We have a game plan and are sticking to it and feel it is coming together nicely, we are happy with our core group of players and left roster space on purpose to make these additions as part of the plan, we just needed time to assess our core and find what spaces needed to be filled and are now looking to fill them”, added coach Rapcewicz. These two new forwards will be some of the key pieces to the puzzle moving forward as they bring skill sets that are required for the young Express team.
Charlie Venedam is a 20 year old 6’0 200lbs right winger who will be expected to bring some offence and experience to the Express lineup as he was a point per game guy last year in the Thunder Bay Junior B league scoring 19 goals and 10 assists for 29 points in 29 games. “Charlie is a great asset to our team both on and off the ice as he is incredibly charismatic and will be a leader in our dressing room, he will definately help us out on the ice”, expressed Clarke. Charlie’s first game will be Saturday night against the Timmins Rock.
Patrick Smith is a 19 year old 5’11 190lbs right wing/center who plays a great 200 foot game. He is a responsible 2 way forward who sees the ice well and will also help the offensive effort. Patrick comes to Espanola via trade from the Elliot Lake Wildcats. “Patrick will help us in all 3 zones as he plays a smart positional game and we feel he will thrive under our coaching staff and team systems, while chipping in on the score board too” added Clarke. Patrick has already played his first game with the Express against the Cochrane Chrunch and helped out with a 2 point night as he posted a goal and a helper on the evening. “Patrick is a great young man and we are lucky to have him join our family”, said veteran bench boss Tom McCarthy