The Erie Otters continue to stockpile prospects on defense.
Mitchell Byrne and Taylor Egan, the club’s respective fifth-round and sixth-round picks in the 2014 OHL draft, joined free-agent forward Mason Marchment (pictured at left) – son of former NHL player Bryan Marchment – in signing on Friday.
Byrne and Egan still could begin the season in Tier II, since 2013 picks T.J. Fergus, Cole Mayo and Jesse Saban are expected to play alongside returning veterans Travis Dermott, Cory Genovese and Darren Raddysh in the rotation. Head coach Kris Knoblauch used six-man and seven-man rotations last season.
Marchment is the latest free agent to earn a roster spot with the Otters, with the most recent being fellow rookie F Alex DeBrincat (pictured at right). Marchment had 22 goals and 43 points in 51 games with Cobourg (Ontario Junior Hockey League) last season.
* High-tech hockey: Players were caught speeding on radar Friday. But for once, that was a good thing.
They experienced the Erie debut of Guelph, ON-based Hockey Tech’s NEXTtesting, which uses sensors called double-cell beams which records data from radio frequency identification tags attached to the players’ gloves. The players underwent straight-line skating, backwards skating, pivoting and starts and stops to measure speed, acceleration, transitions and reaction times.
Check out these three videos from Friday’s practice.
* Staying in the present: C Dylan Strome (pictured at left) understands he has a big season ahead – his second OHL year, a possible top-10 – if not top-5 pick – in next summer’s NHL draft. But he isn’t focused on any of that.
“You can’t think of it too much, or else the pressure is going to get to your head,” Strome said earlier this week. “It’s just another hockey season. You’re doing what you love. You’ve just got to stick to the regular game plan, and just do what you did last season, and hopefully you’ll have a good season.”
– Victor Fernandes