OHL 20 in 20 Season Preview: Soo Greyhounds
As the Soo Greyhounds gear up to celebrate a milestone 50 years of hockey, head coach John Dean preps us on the team's proven leadership group and passionate younger skaters ahead of puck drop on the 2021-22 season.
"Really excited about our young group, really excited about the passion they have, but also excited about our leadership group and the example they're going to set...Our General Manager Kyle Raftis has brought in a group that is super passionate and loves to play. We have a group that just loves to play hockey and loves to be around the rink, and for a coach, that makes my job really easy. It's been a lot of fun that way and I'm excited to see what these guys can do." - John Dean
2019-20 Record: 29-31-3-1, 62 points (Fourth in West Division)
Head Coach: John Dean (Third season)
Opening Game: Friday, Oct. 8 vs. North Bay
The Tradition Continues ???#50YearsOfHoundsHockey pic.twitter.com/U7jGhgVFSd
- Soo Greyhounds (@OHLHoundPower) August 17, 2021
It's no secret that dependable two-way defenceman Ryan O'Rourke will bring a lot to the table this year. His compete level, his physicality, his poise, and his patience can change the rhythm of the game, and this time the Minnesota Wild prospect brings with him some AHL experience. The returning captain understands what it's like to be a pro, is set to help lead the team in intangibles, and, as Dean alluded to, will set an example for the incoming young group.
Recently-signed St. Louis Blues prospect Tanner Dickinson boasts a huge hockey intelligence and returns to the Greyhounds a much more physically mature forward. Dean expects Dickinson to be exceptional this season with an "off the charts" skillset, picking up where he left off following a successful 40-point sophomore stint.
High offensive talent Rory Kerins thrives on being a leader and wanting to get better everyday. Having led the Greyhounds with 30 goals in 2019-20, the returning forward is poised to carry the Greyhounds offensively and is expected to pop off after some AHL experience in the Calgary Flames organization.
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