By RYAN MCCRACKEN on February 13, 2021.
The Medicine Hat Tigers enter camp with somewhat of a different makeup from last season.
On top of parting with overagers James Hamblin, Dylan Plouffe and Parker Gavlas, the Tigers will be starting the year without several other players who have opted to move on from the WHL or are playing on loan with other teams.
As a result, the Tigers enter camp with four overagers in defenceman Cole Clayton and forwards Ryan Chyzowski, Brett Kemp and Cyle McNabb. Desjardins says the overage cutdown date has been moved to Feb. 23 – three days prior to puck drop – meaning a cut will need to be made before then.
Medicine Hat enters camp with 25 players listed on the roster – 15 forwards, seven defencemen and three goaltenders – but many key faces from last year’s roster are competing elsewhere for at least the next few months.
Cole Sillinger is with the Sioux Falls Stampeders of the USHL – where he has nine goals and six assists through nine games with the Stampeders. Goaltender Mads Sogaard is competing in his home country of Denmark and sporting a .934 save percentage through 13 games with the Esbjerg Energy.
“He’s having a really good year, so that’s exciting for him,” said Desjardins of Sogaard, a second-round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators. “We talked with Ottawa and he’s doing well there. It’s just as good for him to stay and play.”
Forward Baxter Anderson made the decision to enter the BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers in the fall, while Danish import Jonathan Brinkman is playing with his hometown Aalborg Pirates, forward Bryan Lockner is with the United States Premier Hockey League’s Northern Colorado Eagles, defenceman Nick Perna is with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers and Elijah Brown was last in the NEAJBHL with the Cold Lake Ice.
Sillinger could return to the Tigers if the Stampeders wrap up their campaign before Medicine Hat.