The overage situation for the Soo Greyhounds is slowly coming together as the team prepared for the opening of training camp later this month.
With 10 2001-birth years on the roster at the end of the COVID-19 shortened 2019-20 Ontario Hockey League season, three players from that group will not be a part of the mix.
Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that goaltender Ethan Taylor, defenceman Drew Wawrow, and forward Cullen McLean have been waived by the club.
All three have cleared waivers.
The news of Taylor being waived means the team will head into training camp at this point with rookie netminders, having relinquished the rights to Nick Malik ahead of the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft in June as well.
“When you look through the league right now and a lot of the guys that you would have seen take a step and get that experience last year, across the league, there’s not a lot of those guys floating around,” Raftis said when asked about the Greyhounds goaltending situation heading into training camp. “We’re excited about some of the young guys we have coming to camp and we’ll just have to take it from there. It’s going to be a situation where we’ve got to get on the ice and working with them more closely to get a better feel.”
The prospect situation in goal for the team includes a trio of goaltenders taken in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection – Charlie Schenkel, Nolan Dunn, and Tyler Muszelik.
Schenkel, a fifth round pick, played at Kimball Union Academy in 2020-21 while Muszelik played with the US National Team Development Program’s U17 last season and is currently committed to play NCAA hockey at the University of New Hampshire, beginning in the fall of 2023.
The team also has a pair of goaltenders taken in the annual U18 draft in the mix in Samuel Ivanov, selected in 2020, and Colton Donaldson, selected in 2021.
In June, McLean committed to play U Sports hockey with Ontario Tech University where he will be enrolled in the health sciences program.
The remainder of the group of potential overage players includes defencemen Robert Calisti and Billy Constantinou and forwards Joe Carroll, Cole MacKay, Jaromir Pytlik, Alex Johnston, and Tye Kartye.
“I’d like to get that number down as low as we can,” Raftis said. “I think that all of those guys can play in the league and it’s a matter of finding a fit.”
Drafted by the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, the Greyhounds were able to retain Pytlik’s rights heading into the Import Draft.
Pytlik is currently under contract with a pro team in Finland.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to open training camp on Aug. 30.