Courtesy of Dave Anthony of Steinbachonline.com
On the eve of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League season, Steinbach Pistons head coach Paul Dyck spoke about expectations for his team this year and gave some insight into the roster.
“Once the puck drops, the nervousness doesn’t last very long,” Dyck said Thursday morning, in anticipation of the home opener on Friday night. “I think everybody in the locker room or in the coaches room would be lying if they said they didn’t feel a little nervous heading out the opener.”
When it comes to what fans can expect from the 2017-18 Pistons, Dyck says, “well, I think if the pre-season is any indication, we’ll play an exciting brand of hockey. I thought we played with a physical edge and put the puck in the net while playing with a good pace. That’ll be our identity this year, we’re a little bit bigger up front, the skill is there again and we got a team that can move on the ice.”
Here is the opening night roster for the 2017/18 Steinbach Pistons with a little break-down from coach Paul Dyck:
Goalie – Matthew Radomsky (18, Winnipeg, Manitoba) – Good size, very competitive and extremely talented. Expect him to have a very strong season.
Goalie – Matthew Thiessen (17, Altona, Manitoba) – Big, young goalie, also very competitive and has loads of potential.
Defense – Mark Taraschuk (20, Winnipeg, Manitoba) – Brings a lot of leadership to our dressing room, experienced defender, poised to be one of the top defenders in the MJHL.
Defense – Darby Gula (19, Steinbach, Manitoba) – Great mobility. Poised to take the next step. In the upper echelon as far as MJHL defensemen go.
Defense – Jaret Lalli (19, Bemidji, Minnesota) – Smooth skating D man. Very dependable. Intense. Not the biggest guy but strong on his skates.
Defense – Alec Severson (19, Roseau, Minnesota) – Big man. Can play physical, keeps his game simple and eats up ice time.
Defense – Declan Graham (18, Etobicoke, Ontario) – Put on size, another guy that has potential to play at the next level. Thinks the game well and plays with some edge.
Defense – Tristan Culleton (18, St. Louis, Missouri) – Another smooth skater. Moves the puck well, finishes his checks. Competitive kid.
Defense – Jack Lenchyshyn (17 – Steinbach, Manitoba) – A lot of edge to his game. Can also contribute offensively. Excited to have him in the lineup
Defense – Curtis Ireland (17, Brandon, Manitoba) – Smooth skater. We’ll see him develop over the winter. Good skill set.
Forward – Braden Purtill (20, Winnipeg, Manitoba) – The captain. The kind of guy you want come playoff time. A workhorse. Does all the little things well. He’s the captain for a reason.
Forward – Bradley Schoonbaert (20, Brandon, Manitoba) – Great offensive instincts. A 200-foot player, improved skating, gotten stronger. Poised to become a dominant player in our league.
Forward – Drew Worrad (20, Denfield, Ontario) – Lots to like with Drew. Great vision, great release, plays a 200-foot game and provides leadership.
Forward – Will Koop (19, Winnipeg, Manitoba) – Great tenacity, hounds pucks. Has a nice release. A Very competitive kid who moves around the ice well.
Forward – Danny Pion (19, Gatineau, Quebec) – Complete game. Can contribute offensively and can play away from the puck. A guy who’s ready for more.
Forward – Tyson McConnell (19, Pilot Mound, Manitoba) – Very underrated. He brings so much to our group. His play away from the puck is as good as anyone in this league.
Forward – Jack Johnson (19, Bemidji, Minnesota) – He can be a difference maker. Started to bring structure to his game. Very skilled.
Forward – Drew Anderson (19, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba) – Speed. We saw him gain more confidence and he’s gonna start putting more pucks in the net.
Forward – Brady Tatro (19, Bemidji, Minnesota) – Plays well away from the puck, good size. Smart player. Makes good decisions with the puck
Forward – Easton Bennett (19, Minot, North Dakota) – Brings size to our lineup. Plays physically and that’s what we need from him.
Forward – Vaughn Dupre (18, St. Anne, Manitoba) – He can play big. He’s got a good skill set and a nose for the net. He’s strong on pucks.
Forward – Austin Heidemann (18, Maple Grove, Minnesota) – Extremely strong kid. Tremendous release. Likes to park himself in front of the net and score some greasy goals.
Forward – Will Cruise (18, Steinbach, Manitoba) – Cruiser is a good nickname for him. Plays with an edge and a bite.
Forward – James Barclay (18, Winnipeg, Manitoba) – Young guy cutting his teeth with us. Keeps his feet moving, hardworking kid.