The 2014-2015 Aberdeen Wings are preparing for the upcoming Training Camp to be held at the Odde Ice Center. 30 players under contract with Aberdeen converged on Mendota Heights, Minnesota for Main Camp back in mid-July. ‘Main Camp’ is the first opportunity for the Wings coaching, scouting, and player development staffs to evaluate all players returning from the 2013-2014 season, players signed to tender contracts, free agents, and those players drafted by the Wings during the 2014-2015 NAHL Entry Draft. The staff took the time to see the players at game speed in hopes of building another NAHL playoff team.
First-year head coach Francis Anzalone says the makeup of players is diverse but full of talent.
“We have a number of high character, competitive players coming to training camp who are excited to be playing in Aberdeen and helping us grow our culture and are very enthusiastic about getting better every day,” said Coach Anzalone.
Many familiar faces donned a Wings practice jersey at Main Camp. Among those players was veteran forward #16 Kyle Haak of Okemos, Michigan. Haak enters his 4th season in the NAHL, having played his rookie season for the Traverse City North Stars. For the past two seasons, Haak has played in 115 games for the Aberdeen Wings. So far in his NAHL career, Haak has tallied 20 goals and 51 assists including three appearances in playoff games.
Also returning for Main Camp was Wings forward #21 Bjorn Sigurdarson of Reykjavik, Iceland. During a very successful rookie season with Aberdeen scoring 13 goals and 25 assists, Sigurdarson also had the opportunity to represent his home country as an assistant captain at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships.
Goaltender #1 Chad Catt of Williamstown, Michigan is also returning as a veteran. After spending some time in the USHL his rookie year with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders and Amarillo Bulls of the NAHL, Catt has made a home in Aberdeen. As the Wings goaltender, Catt has compiled a record of 25-17-5. He was ranked in the top 5 for goaltenders in the NAHL for much of last season.
The Aberdeen Wings 30-man roster will report to Training Camp on August 25th beginning with weight room workouts, situational meetings, video sessions, and on-ice workouts. Training Camp is scheduled to conclude on September 14th. During the period of camp, the Wings will travel to Kansas to take on the Topeka Roadrunners of the NAHL in pre-season games.
“The exhibition games provide our staff with an opportunity to evaluate what we have and what we’ll need to do better moving forward this season,” commented Wings head coach Francis Anzalone.
The 2014-2015 NAHL season will official start with the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota on Wednesday, September 17th.
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