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A pair of stalwarts from the 2004 birth year go from teams in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Soo Thunderbirds defenseman Mason Chitaroni and French River Rapids forward Dominik Godin are both heading to Acadie-Bathurst.
Regular season and playoffs included, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Chitaroni had three goals, 25 assists and 28 points in 41 games for the 2021-22 NOJHL champion Thunderbirds. And the 6-foot-1, 178-pound Godin was a prolific scorer for Rivière des Français with 40 goals in 53 games. Both are Northern Ontario guys with Chitaroni from Marathon and Godin from Alban.
Chitaroni is heading to Acadie-Bathurst and the QMJHL after acquitting Ontario Hockey League waivers as the former fifth-round pick of the London Knights in the 2020 OHL Priority Draft.
Notably, former NOJHL Championship head coach Marc Lafleur recently signed with Acadie-Bathurst as assistant to Titan general manager and coach Jason Clarke.
NOJHL TO OHL: Big hitter Alex Bradshaw signed with the OHL’s Flint Firebirds after a productive season with the NOJHL’s Powassan Voodoos.
Bradshaw, who was born in 2004, had 24 goals, nine assists, 33 points in 37 NOJHL games — regular season and playoffs — for Powassan in 2021-22. Bradshaw’s OHL rights had been secured by Flint of the Erie Otters by the 2022 OHL Trade Deadline.
“We’re thrilled to officially welcome Alex to the organization,” Firebirds general manager and head coach Ted Dent said of the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Bradshaw. “He brings good size and skill to our hockey club. We look forward to working with him in the months to come. »
NOJHL TO SIJHL: The new Superior International Junior Hockey League team has added a seasoned defenseman with previous experience in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
The Sioux Lookout Bombers of the SIJHL acquired defenseman Logan James, born in 2002, from the Espanola Express of the NOJHL in a cash trade. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound James played 37 games for Espanola during the 2021-22 season and had one goal, eight assists and nine points.
GOLDEN FOUR: A quartet of artists from the 2002 birth year – a goaltender, a defenseman and two forwards – have chosen to return to the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Junior Hockey League for the 2022 season- 2023.
They are goalkeeper Eric Vanska, defender Kyle Lamoureux and forwards Carson Gorst and Ethan Lang.
• Vanska, a local Thunder Bay product, went 12-4-1 in the regular season with a 2.51 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and two shutouts as he helped Kam River finish first in 2021-2022. He went on to go 2-1-0 with a 3.66 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in the playoffs as Kam River advanced to the Finals. Vanska is expected to be the number one goalie for the Fighting Walleye in 22-23 with the graduation of Austin Madge from the college hockey ranks.
• Regular season and playoffs included, Lamoureux had two goals, 10 assists, 12 points in 39 games with the Fighting Walleye in ’21-’22 after being acquired in a trade.
• Gorst had 16 goals, 29 assists, 45 points in 50 games during the ’21-22 campaign for Fighting Walleye.
• Lang finished third in scoring for Kam River during the regular season 21-22 with 19 goals, 30 assists, 49 points as the Fighting Walleye skated to first place in the standings. He then added three goals in 10 playoff games as Kam River qualified for the league championship series.
NATIVE FUND: Forward Keaton Mercredi left to play for the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 1 Maryville University Saints in the fall. Notably, Wednesday became the first recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from a post-secondary education fund initiated by the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League and Warrior Supplies.
“Being the first to receive the Warrior Scholarship is an honor and the Fighting Walleye do a great job representing Indigenous players and culture,” said Mercredi, a native of High Level, Alta. “I want to thank (General Manager) Kevin McCallum and the entire Kam River organization for making me a better person and player, on and off the ice, to further my education and hockey career. .”
Wednesday, 21, split the 2021-22 season between the SIJHL and Kam River and the Grande Prairie Kings of the Northwest Jr. B Hockey League. He had 19 points in 26 games with Kam River and 34 points in 24 games with Grande Prairie.
Derek Geddes, who is the president and one of the owners of Kam River, noted the origin of the native scholarship fund.
“The Walleye/Warrior Supply Scholarship was founded and funded through the Orange Wave game last March. Our partner in this initiative, Jason Thompson, owner of Warrior Supply, was the visionary for this and we are pleased to be able to provide the platform,” said Geddes.
The Fighting Walleye hosted the first Orange Wave match on March 12 this year, which celebrated Indigenous culture and traditions. The team wore special one-off jerseys for the game, sponsored by Warrior Supply, and the jerseys were auctioned off to raise money for the scholarship fund. More than $10,000 was raised through support from Fighting Walleye fans, sponsors and community partners, Geddes confirmed.