With the addition of two new players, head coach Trent Brown is happy with the team they have going forward.
“I’m very confident in our group. But more importantly, I believe the players are confident in themselves as a team. Management – (director of hockey operations) Jeff Snyder and (general manager) Kevin Bloch – did a great job of addressing our needs to help us reach our commitments,” said Brown. “Everything we do is to compete for the Sutherland Cup, that is our commitment.”
Damian Figueira came to the team from the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. An experienced defenseman, the 19-year-old is a welcome addition to the team’s back end.
“We are looking to get some solid defence out of him, some consistency and some dependable minutes. He can skate, he makes a good pass, and he is pretty solid defensively – a pretty physical player,” said Brown. “He has got some experience in different leagues; we can benefit from that.”
“We are looking for him to have some impactful minutes for us on the defensive side of the puck.”
The defenseman played in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League for the Elliot Lake Wildcats, and the Canadian Central Hockey League for the Kemptville 73s, before heading to the QMJHL prior to his start this past weekend in Elmira.
As for the second addition, Marcel Berube is coming to the Kings from the Charlottetown Islanders. Although he also came from the QMJHL, the 17-year-old forward had his junior debut with the Lambton Shores Predators, also in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.
“We are looking for some rugged physicality and scoring. We want to play a fast game, and he will help us with that,” Brown said of Berube. “Last year, he was just 17 in our league and had 20 goals and 20 assists – he has that ability with the puck. To go along with that, he had 100 penalty minutes – we want to direct that physicality into a positive for us.”
After a first skate with the team last weekend, both are happy to be with the Kings, and confident in the team’s ability to go far this year, ideally repeating as Sutherland Cup champs.
“There is a great group of guys in the room, and I think we have a championship team here,” said Figueira.