Karl Taylor rounded out his summer signings with three uniquely different players – defensemen Matt Delahey, Jordan Hill and Chaz Johnson.
Here’s what the coach had to say about each:
“Big farm kid with a big body. He’s a stay at home defenseman and a very good penalty killer. Real solid, stay-at-home Saskatchewan farm kid. ”
“There’s a real solid leadership quality in this individual. He’s a great person. Solid two-way defenseman. He’s not afraid of the rough stuff, but he doesn’t look for it. A very solid, solid defenseman.”
“He played against me when I was in Reading, and I didn’t like coaching against him. Therefore, when we had the opportunity to get him, we had to take advantage of it. He’s a big strong, really good skater, really fast skater, great on the forecehck. He’s a good all-around player. He scored over 20 goals in our league before. We expect the same this year. He’s a tough kid. The speed he brings to the table is phenomenal. He loves putting a good lick on the forecheck on defense. He’s a very good player on our level. There’s no one that he can’t measure up with, but he’s not just a fighter. That’s something he’s done in the past, something that’s part of his game, but he’s more than one-dimensional.”
It looks like the defense is going to be very young beyond Walker and Starling. Does that concern you at all?
“It looks like it, but I’m not at all concerned. If I was concerned, I would have signed other people. I don’t care if you’re 100 or 5. If you’re a good player you’re a good player. There’s a little more of a learning curve, but they’ll be fine.”
Are you satisfied that this is the group you’ll take with you into camp?
“I like our group. It’s going to be interesting to see how things play out. We’re always looking, but I am done at this current time until we see our players. Training camp starts Friday, then away we go.”
Barring any surprise additions then (and excluding players who will eventually be assigned by the Kings), here are the ECHL-contracted players that the Reign will take into training camp:
Forwards (13): Francisco, McEwan, Kraus, Morrison, Collymore, Bureau, Collins, Lewadniuk, Stretch, O’Malley, Kraemer, Corey, Johnson.
Defense (7): Walker, Starling, Doyle, Beaverson, Traccitto, Delahey, Hill.
Goalies (3): Zemlak, Briggs, Zacharias.
More in a bit on the open-tryout invitees, and a couple players from last season who won’t be coming back in 2010-11.