Earlier today Soo Greyhounds General Manager Dave Torrie announced the signing of three players from this summer’s OHL Priority Selection and CHL Import Draft.
Forwards Nick Cousins (2nd Round, 2009 OHL Priority Selection) and Justin Thomas (4th Round, 2009 OHL Priority Selection) have both signed OHL Standard Player Agreements while goaltender Robin Lehner (1st round, 9th overall CHL Import Selection) has signed his transfer application and IIHF playing card.
For the Hounds 2nd round pick, Nick Cousins is expected to arrive in Sault Ste. Marie mid-August and begin to workout prior to the main camp starting. Team officials have high expectations for the Belleville, ON native and are excited of him joining the Hounds for the 2009/2010 season.
“We’re definitely excited to finalize the deal with Nick. We feel he has some special talents and is a gifted player. Our staff looks forward to developing those talents over the course of the next three to four years” stated Torrie.
For Thomas, the road to the red and white can take one of two directions this coming year. The Muncey, Ontario native will arrive in Sault Ste. Marie in time for training camp and has committed to playing the 2009/2010 season with either the Hounds or their affiliate franchise the Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL). That is a decisions team management will be faced with making following training camp and exhibition play.
“Justin is a player who brings good size and skill to the team. With the number of returnees expected back this season, Justin will have to earn a fulltime roster spot. If that doesn’t happen this year, we are excited he’ll be a part of the Thunderbirds and will continue to work and develop him to be a part of next year’s team” explained Torrie.
Between the pipes, Robin Lehner is expected to arrive in the Soo on August 3rd where he will skate and train with locals players. By that time the Molndal, Sweden native is expected to have approval from Hockey Canada and the IIHF.
“Obviously we are excited to have the paperwork and travel arrangements for Robin complete and we feel it is just a formality on the approval process. As a player, and 2nd Round NHL draft pick, we are excited and know he has exceptional skills. It’s a privilege and honour that he has chosen to come to Sault Ste. Marie to adjust to the North American game and culture and to allow our coaching staff to help him reach his goal of being a pro player” commented Torrie.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)