AMHERST – Wednesday could be moving day for several players trying to earn a spot with this year’s Amherst Ramblers.
Ramblers coach Jim Bottomley said he expects to make up to 10 cuts today as be begins to pare his roster down in preparation for a pair of exhibition games this weekend against the Dieppe Commandos.
“The competition has been pretty fierce, the team is looking pretty good already,” Bottomley said Tuesday prior to an intrasquad game at the stadium.
The Ramblers have 32 players in camp with several players still at Quebec Major Junior Hockey League training camps.
Among the players Bottomley is awaiting word on is winger Blake Millman, who is in Cape Breton; forward Ryan Penny and defenceman Cameron MacDonald, who are in Moncton and forward Marcus Cuomo, who is in Saint John.
The roster could be bolstered in the next few days with the arrival of goalie Chase Marchand from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Marchand, drafted by the Ramblers in June, could team up with returning goalie Richard Tingley to give the club a solid tandem in goal.
The Ramblers’ defensive core is looking solid with Ben MacDonald, Willie MacDonald, Dylan Brake and Jamie Bishop all back, while Mitch O’Neil, Kody Orr, Maxime Richard and Brett Shute are back up front.
Brock Morrison and Ben Berisha, picked up recently from Summerside in the deal for Mitch Maynard, have also looked good, said Bottomley.
“The biggest surprise up front has been Ryan Caswell, who we picked up from Dieppe. He played prep school last year and looks ready to step into our lineup and make a contribution. He had a great camp in Saint John and looks like a goal scorer,” Bottomely said. “Josh Pugsley has also looked great on the ice since joining us from the Wildcats.
“We have great skill up front, but I think we’re lacking a bit of size. We’re looking for some more physical size up front and I’m also looking for another big defenceman.”
The Ramblers open their exhibition schedule at home on Saturday against Dieppe.