One day after posting a solid effort in a 5-2 preseason win against Mississauga, goaltender Devin Williams (sports hernia surgery) said he’s ready to play in Friday night’s regular-season opener in Guelph. Yet head coach Kris Knoblauch will wait until Thursday, and possibly even Friday, before naming his starter.
No. 1 goaltender Oscar Dansk remains in NHL training camp with the Columbus Blue Jackets. If he returns to Erie by Thursday, Knoblauch said, Dansk should start against the Storm. But if Dansk doesn’t return until Friday, Knoblauch said Williams could get the start.
Knoblauch hasn’t received an update on Dansk or rookie winger Andre Burakovsky, who’s set to make his NHL debut tonight in the Washington Capitals’ preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Meanwhile, rookie Daniel Dekoning remains with the club.
*** In other news, the roster stands at 28 players after the club cut forward prospect Blake Jones. Club officials plan to make one or two more cuts, most likely on defense.
Nine defensemen remain on the roster. Knoblauch also wants to keep extra players up front, since three forwards are out of the lineup to start the season – Jake Evans (knee), Hayden Hodgson (final 3 games of a 10-game suspension incurred late last season) and Joel Wigle (shoulders).
Given the makeup of the blue line (see the updated roster below), it would seem that 2013 draft picks Jesse Saban and Cole Mayo are on the bubble. Ultimately, the roster will shrink to 22 or 23 players at some point into the season.
*** Here’s a few more tidbits…Patrick Murphy has permanently made the move to forward from defense. Knoblauch said that gives Murphy the best shot to stick with the team.
Goaltenders (3): Oscar Dansk (at Columbus camp), Devin Williams, Daniel Dekoning
Defensemen (9): Spencer Abraham, Travis Dermott, Troy Donnay, Justin Felker, Cory Genovese, Cole Mayo, Adam Pelech, Darren Raddysh, Jesse Saban
Forwards (16): Andre Burakovsky (at Washington camp), Nick Betz, Connor Brown, Michael Curtis, Jake Evans (injured), Dane Fox, Stephen Harper, Hayden Hodgson, Quentin Maksimovich, Connor McDavid, Patrick Murphy, Kyle Pettit, Fabrizio Ricci, Dylan Strome, Joel Wigle (injured), Travis Wood (also has seen time on D)
- Victor Fernandes