Eckl, the team’s power forward?
Bastian Eckl, the team’s first selection in the CHL European Draft, is only 17 years-old and seems to need a bit more time to adapt to the new North American ice surface size. His head coach is confident that he’ll become a key forward on the team.
“He’s a very dynamic player. Of course, he has to adapt to the language and the North American style of play, but I can see him become a very good power forward that uses his speed. That said, it’s hard for me to say right now if he will become a top six forward right off the bat, since it’s too early to slot our players into our top 6 roles right now. I believe we’ll have four competitive lines with a good mix of youth and veterans. We have a few ideas on combinations, but that can change quickly.”
Will the free agents make a difference?
Several Voltigeurs rookies hope to establish themselves with the club. That’s the case for Nicolas Desgroseilliers who played one and a half seasons with the Saguenéens but spent most of his time in the team infirmary before being let go.
“He suffered an important injury at the age of 17. He never abandoned his desire to play in the QMJHL. He came in as a free agent and has demonstrated good qualities. He made our team and I think his story is just beginning.”
Gregory Kreutzer, a native a Michigan, is a similar case.
“We saw him play a few times last year. He moves the puck well and is very mobile. We liked what we saw and we invited him…and here are the results,” said Ducharme with a smile.
A spot in the top 10?
Last year, the Voltigeurs finished 12th in the overall standings. During the pre-season, they climbed to ninth. Will they be able to continue the trend?
“It’s hard to compare your team to the other ones in the league. The year isn’t even under way, but I am confident that we can take a huge step forward. We have very talented young players. Simoneau, Desruisseaux and Pelletier join Rodrigue, Bernard and Desmarais.
« C’est difficile de se comparer aux 17 autres formations. L’année n’est pas commencée, mais j’ai pleinement confiance qu’on fera un gros pas par en avant comparativement à l’an dernier.On a des jeunes qui sont très talentueux. We’re satisfied with what we have. We see them progressing every day. I’m optimistic that we will have a good year.”