New Canmore Eagles ready for AJHL exhibition season
It’s a case of déjà vu all over again for two Canmore Eagles.
Nils Moser and Zack Rassell will both try to earn spots on the 2012/2013 Canmore Eagles squad when the club opens training camp on Thursday (Aug. 23) with fitness testing.
The AJHL squad will have to round into shape quickly, as the team has its first exhibition game at home on Tuesday (Aug, 28) at 7 p.m. versus the Calgary Mustangs.
Canmore native Moser returned to his hometown after playing last season with the Tri-City Americans and Regina Pats of the WHL.
The six-foot forward played six games with the Eagles last season on a re-conditioning stint, scoring once and picking up five assists and head coach Andrew Milne thinks he can contribute to the club.
“Nils has the experience, the size, and the skill level to make a real difference for our hockey club,” said Milne. “Nils will provide instant leadership and mentorship for the rest of the club. He’s been held back by an injury for a couple of years and hopefully he can put that behind him and have great success in the AJHL.
“Kristopher Foucault played for the Eagles in 2008-09 after one season in the WHL, regained his form in the AJHL, and has gone on to eventually play in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild. I hope the same thing happens for Nils.”
He’ll join four other Canmore natives fighting for jobs with the Eagles this year – Luke Simpson, Simon Philp, John Stevens and Jeremy Gordon.
The Eagles will need scoring punch this year after last year’s leading scorer, Luke Philp, made the jump to the Kootenay Ice of the WHL.
To help the scoring punch, Rassell was re-acquired from the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL for future considerations.
Last season, Rassell scored nine goals and had 19 assists in 38 games and was moved at the trade deadline.
We are extremely pleased to welcome Zack back into our lineup,” said Milne. “I’ve known Zack for a few years now and he will provide us with leadership, size and skill. He understands what it takes to be successful in the AJHL.
“This will be Zack’s final year of eligibility for a college or university scholarship, so I have no doubt that he will be very motivated to have an outstanding season.”
“I am absolutely ecstatic to be coming back to Canmore,” said Rassell, who indicated he has been training very hard this summer and is expecting to report to training camp in the best shape of his life.
“I am so lucky to have a second chance to resume my hockey career in Canmore. Canmore is such a great place to play junior hockey. I really missed the town, the players and my billet family.”
With his return, Rassell will be re-united with new Eagles goaltender Ty Swabb, who was also obtained from the Spruce Kings in the off-season.
“Canmore fans will be very impressed with Ty – he is an excellent goaltender,” said Rassell. “He ended the Penticton Vee’s 42-game winning streak pretty much by himself with an unbelievable performance. Ty will be huge for the Eagles this season. He was one of my best friends on the Prince George team, so it will be fun to play hockey with him again.”
Rassell is one of seven 20-year-olds with the Eagles at this time. A team is only allowed to dress six at a time. Other 20-year-olds include Swabb, goaltender Michael Salmon, defencemen Ciaron Driscoll and Alex Barnes and forwards Riley Point and Steven Phee.
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