In The News Notebook; Villalta, Frost, LeGuerrier, O’Rourke and Holmes

Today’s inaugural edition of ‘In The News Notebook’ features a number of Greyhound stories since the calendar turned over to the year 2021.
Veteran Sault Ste. Marie sportswriter Peter Ruicci from the Sault Star touches base on some of the stories surrounding past and present members of the Greyhounds, along with topics concerning the delayed 2020-21 Ontario Hockey League season.

In case you missed it, let’s catch up on some of those headlines and stories to help you get through this snowy Tuesday in the Lock City.

Published January 18, 2021

He’s been up, he’s been down.

Such is life for former Soo Greyhounds netminder Matt Villalta, who could find himself spending part of this season with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and part of it with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Ontario Reign.

The clubs share a practice facility in El Segundo, Calif.

In the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, the 21-year-old broke camp with the Kings last week, becoming a first-time NHLer as a member of the team’s taxi squad.

To read the full article CLICK HERE.

Published January 15, 2021

In the strangest of hockey seasons, this one would be right up there.

An 18-year-old (2002 birth year) member of the Soo Greyhounds could soon find himself playing in the American Hockey League.

That’s the goal for Hounds captain Ryan O’Rourke, who’s slated to leave Saturday for Des Moines, Iowa, home of the AHL’s Iowa Wild.

O’Rourke, taken by the Minnesota Wild in the second round (39th overall) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, is expected to train with other AHL hopefuls before training camp officially begins on Jan. 25.

To read the full article CLICK HERE.

Published January 14, 2021

He’d love to sign an NHL contract. He’s also eligible to return to the Soo Greyhounds for an overage season.

But for now at least, those are things Jacob LeGuerrier isn’t thinking about.

The six-foot-two, 210-pound defenceman is  determined to narrow his focus as he begins competing at the Laval Rocket’s American Hockey League training camp.

“Right now, all of my concentration is on becoming a pro,” said LeGuerrier, a Gloucester, Ont., native, who hit the road on Thursday for the start of camp. “I don’t want to overthink things. I want to keep my mind clear and stay ready for whatever comes.”

To read the full article CLICK HERE.

Published January 13, 2021

Getting called up during the season is certainly a thrill.

But there’s nothing like breaking training camp as a bona fide NHL player.

Right, Morgan Frost?

“It was a really-great moment,” the former Soo Greyhounds star said of learning he’d made the Philadelphia Flyers 23-man roster.

General manager Chuck Fletcher gave Frost the good news on Tuesday.

To read the full article CLICK HERE.

Published January 8, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s unable to compete during what is arguably the biggest season of his hockey life.

But Soo Greyhounds second-year defenceman Jacob Holmes isn’t planning on finding a place where he can play anytime soon.

While some Ontario Hockey Leaguers are seeking out opportunities in Europe, Holmes is concentrating on physical and mental preparation.

“No, not right now,” the 17-year-old (2003 birth year) native of Alliston, Ont., said when asked whether he’s thought about playing in Europe. “I’m just trying to stay focused on training and doing what I have to do so that when we get back, I’m ready.”

To read the full article CLICK HERE.

Published January 6, 2021

As of now, no North American­­­-born members of the Soo Greyhounds have plans to play in European leagues.

But that could change depending on how long the COVID-19 pandemic keeps Ontario Hockey League skaters off the ice.

Two Hounds have had recent opportunities to play in Europe, said Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis, who refused to identify them.

When asked, Raftis said he “wouldn’t have a problem loaning” someone on his roster to a European league, while also stressing he “definitely wouldn’t block someone from playing there.”

To read the full article CLICK HERE.

Published January 4, 2021

Typically at this time of year, Soo Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis would be in Alberta, watching the World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton and Red Deer.

The 34-year-old would have been scouting players the Hounds have their eyes on, heading into the 2021 Canadian Hockey League Import draft.

Raftis would also have been pressing the flesh with European agents, getting a feel for which players have an interest in playing Major A hockey in Canada.

Plus, he’d be able to learn more about the contract status of certain players.

To read the full article CLICK HERE.

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