Our 18 | Three Questions on the 2023-24 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Which acquisition will have the biggest impact on the club?
Calling the Huskies’ off-season eventful is a legitimate understatement. This club, which already turned heads as an up-and-coming group last year, pushed things into high gear with the Draft weekend acquisitions of star forwards Antonin Verreault and Andrei Loshko from Gatineau and Chicoutimi, respectively. Add to that haul a pair of Memorial Cup winners in defenseman Jeremy Langlois and goaltender William Rousseau, both acquired from Quebec, and the Huskies are poised to run up the standings ever further this season.
Who among the returnees is ready for more responsibility?
Then there’s the core group that is returning to the squad. Up front, Daniil Bourash returns after potting 41 goals last season. On the backend, 2022 Tampa Bay Lightning draftee Dyllan Gill comes back one year older following a strong two-way presence in 2022-23. Then there is a pair of sophomore forwards in Thomas Verdon and Bill Zonnon, who brought the fans out of their seats with flashes of outstanding play last year, particularly in the offensive zone. Complimented with such talents as Louis-Philippe Fontaine and Mathis Perron, the question of who’s ready to step up becomes a legitimate competition.
Can Martin Dagenais deliver results in his first Major Junior head coaching role?
Of all the names and faces that are expected to headline this impressive crew, the one that offers up the most intriguing storyline is the guy behind the bench. Martin Dagenais enters his first major junior coaching opportunity with an impressive resume. Under his guidance, the Ottawa Jr.A Senators became a force in the CCHL, twice capturing league titles and earning Dagenais GM of the Year honors in 2015. The past two seasons have seen him behind the bench of the Ottawa 67’s, where he helped lead that squad to a regular season title in 2022-23 as an Assistant Coach. It’s not a stretch of the imagination, should everything go according to script, to picture Dagenais in a similar situation come next Spring.
|Record||37-24-4-3 (81 points)|
|Division Ranking||2nd West|
|Goals For||240 (7th)|
|Goals Against||227 (7th)|
|PP (Overall)||22.8% (9th)|
|PK (Overall)||76.5% (11th)|
|Leading Rookie||Verdon (21-25-46)|
|Leading Scorers||Allard (27-50-77)|
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