2016/17 London Jr. Knights Season Preview

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2015/16 Minor Midget Record: 24-3-1 (1st Place)

2015/16 Minor Midget Final Result: Lost in 6 to Waterloo in Alliance Championship (Advanced to OHL Cup)

2015/16 Major Bantam Record: 26-1-3 (1st Place)

2015/16 Major Bantam Final Result: Won Alliance Championship in 6 over Waterloo

After two consecutive season saw the London Jr. Knights Minor Midget team lose out in the Alliance championship to Waterloo, this year’s club could be the one to finally lead them to the title with a roster loaded with talent.

It was nearly a clean run through the season last year for the 2000 born London Jr. Knights. Despite not playing a single season game prior to the Alliance Showcase, the Jr. Knights got off to a torrid start and once they claimed first place from the Huron-Perth Lakers, they ran the table at the top with the exception of a few days behind the Waterloo Wolves. London was loaded on offense with multiple weapons. The likes of Eric Guest, Joel Mazzilli and Kyle Fisher were just a few of the names that populated the score sheet. Even with the offense, London came up just short, losing 3-2 in the winner-take-all championship game in Waterloo.

For the Major Bantam team last season, their regular season success basically mirrored that of the Minor Midget team. The 2001 players lost just one game during the regular season and that success continued into the playdowns. The Jr. Knights went 11-2-1 during the post season, with both losses coming to Waterloo in the championship series. When they advanced to provincials, they once again showed to be a top tier team in the province.

The saying is “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and that’s exactly the motto the coaches in London are running with this season. This year’s Minor Midget team will have the exact same roster that the Major Bantam team had last season. No changes, nobody missing. Knowing the roster, you can understand why change wasn’t needed. Up front, London possesses two forwards who could easily crack the top five in Alliance Scout rankings later this year. Aidan Preuter and Ryan Suzuki are both dynamic forwards who are poised for big years. In addition to Preuter and Suzuki, Jeffrey Burridge is a big, mobile forward with a booming shot and Branden Speziale is a crafty winger who compliments Preuter and Suzuki well.

Defense will be led once again by Mason Howard. Howard is a tall, mobile defender who had a six game stint up with the 2000 club last season while injuries were hurting the team. Owen Say and Lewis Boulton will carry the workload in net.

It’s hard to imagine that with some of the teams that London has iced in the past that this could be better than all those teams. The 2014/15 team may have a leg up, but this year’s team is easily a top team in the league and could be the group of players needed to finally get London over the hump and bring the Alliance championship down the 401 to London.

2016/17 London Jr. Knights Roster:

William Ryan

Kieran Warner

Mason Millman

Sam Willits

Matthew Couto

Mason Howard

Branden Speziale

Aidan Preuter

Luke Drewitt

Peter Fleming

Ryan Suzuki

Jeffrey Burridge

Bryce Lewis

Liam Van Loon

Owen Say

Lewis Boulton

 

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