Spitfires Making Decisions Ahead Of PreseasonSeptember 11, 2017 10:30am
The Windsor Spitfires are moving through their preseason with the hope of finalizing their roster.
The Memorial Cup champions have completed a training camp in which 55 players were invited. Now they are making roster cuts that include sending players back to junior B and C teams as well as allowing for some of their key players to attend camp for the NHL teams that drafted them.
Spitfires head coach Trevor Letowski says they have accomplished a lot during training camp.
“We’re pretty happy with where we’re at,” says Letowski. “We’ve introduced a lot of things to the players, we’re doing a lot of teaching. They’re playing hard and they’re responding to it. As of right now, we’re happy but there’s obviously a lot of work to be done still.”
The team made additional roster adjustments last week, sending forward Jordan Frasca to the Chatham Maroons and defenceman Nick Gauvin to the Leamington Flyers.
Four other players are participating in NHL camps. Luke Kutkevicius and Luke Boka are heading to the annual prospects’ tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, with Kutkevicius going for the Detroit Red Wings organization and Boka for the Carolina Hurricanes. In addition, goalie Michael DiPietro and centre Aaron Luchuk are at the Vancouver Canucks’ training camp.
Letowski says the experience of attending NHL training camps will only help those players.
“I always like when our players can go to NHL camps. We talk a lot about what it takes to be a pro and for guys to go there and see it for themselves, I like that as their coach,” says Letowski. “They come back usually a little bit more mature.”
Letowski says once those players return to Windsor, they will be worked into the roster. With the team preparing for a home-and-home preseason series later this week against the Sarnia Sting, the Spitfires have a better idea about where this year’s roster will go.
The coach says camp answered a lot of their questions and they only have a few tough decisions left to make.
“I think before camp started we were a little bit worried about what are team is going to look like numbers-wise because there’s a lot of open spots,” says Letowski. “I think it’s a credit to the players who’ve come in, but a lot of them have played well.”
The Spitfires welcome the Sting to the WFCU Centre Friday night, then head to Sarnia Saturday night for preseason hockey. The regular season opener is Thursday, September 21 against the Saginaw Spirit.