The Manitoba Moose begin their camp after announcing 31 players trying out for the team.
Training camp begins September 29th with an on-ice practice at MTS Iceplex at 3:00 and then ends October 5th. There will also be two exhibition games on October 2nd in Grand Forks, ND and October 3rd in Fargo, ND.
Let’s take a look at how the roster is shaping for the Moose.
The training camp roster includes all players who were invited to the Winnipeg Jets training camp and then re-assigned to the AHL, including Matt Halischuk, Matt Fraser, Patrice Cormier, and Julian Melchiori who passed through waivers.
Players with name underlined are under AHL contracts only, considered NHL free agents, do not count against the Salary Cap, and cannot be called up by the NHL club.
You may notice that the roster is a bit thin in numbers, with little to sacrifice in the event of injuries or NHL call-ups.
The Moose have also invited nine players on tryouts. The nine includes seven forwards and one of each denceman and goaltender.
AHLE is a statistical estimation of what their next season’s AHL point per game pace will be based off of their previous year’s production.
There are a couple of notables to the invite list.
Brant Harris only played a few games in the AHL last season, but he did score extremely well in the ECHL last year as a rookie with 43 points in 57 games. Harris also put up about a three points every four games pace throughout his collegiate career in the NCAA.
Brendan O`Donnel and Jiri Fronk both played as part of the Jets YoungStars team in Penticton this year. While neither dominated their previous year, they both were decent scorers.
Brock Trotter is a familiar face to the organization. The 5’10 forward was loaned to the St. John’s IceCaps for their 2012 Calder Cup run. Trotter historically was a near point per game scorer in the AHL, and put up 12 points in 15 games in the playoffs for the IceCaps. Trotter then took the next two years off hockey, only to return briefly for 32 games in the KHL last year.
Darren Kramer adds some pugilistic abilities with 178 penalty minutes in 70 games last season. Kramer has never scored much at any level, although he was a sixth round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators.
Kellan Lain was a regular player for the Utica Comets for the 2013-14 season, but the next year fell to the numbers game due to a much stronger roster. Lain actually played 9 NHL games in 2013-14 for the Vancouver Canucks, and even scored a goal. While 20 points over 88 career AHL games is not the strongest resume, Lain provides some size with a 6’6 frame.
Mathieu Gagnon is another pugilistic player, and has accumulated over 100 penalty minutes over four different levels of hockey in just four seasons, including 259 PIMs in 35 games in the AJHL.
Mathieu Brodeur is a veteran AHL defenseman of four seasons. He has never been an exceptional scorer but 53 points in 245 games and less than a penalty minute per game is not bad either. He may fall to a numbers game though with the Moose already having five left-handed shots, with a possible sixth arriving between Adam Pardy or Jay Harrison when the Jets make an additional cut.
We’ve spoken about David Leggio previously at Jets Nation. Leggio has been an average AHL goaltender over the past few seasons, although struggled last year. The netminder has a decent shot at making the Moose as a backup if the organization feels Olkinuora is not fit for the role.
If and when the Jets send down Connor Hellebuyck, Hellebuyck will most likely play a heavy workload for the Moose, meaning that the Jets may prefer to place Eric Comrie in the ECHL to gain some pro-level experience.