SIX ERIE OTTERS PLAYERS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN 2023 NHL DEVELOPMENT CAMPS
Erie, Pennsylvania – With the conclusion of the 2023 National Hockey League Entry Draft, the unofficial start of the 2023-24 NHL season gets underway. This is no more evident, nor relevant, than in the showing of NHL Development Camps, taking place early in the month of July.
While Carey Terrance was the lone Otter to hear his name called during the Draft – taken in the second round (#59 overall) by the Anaheim Ducks – he would be far from the only Erie player to be invited to showcase their skills and abilities for teams at the top level. Packing their bags and heading to Camp alongside Terrance and fellow NHL team prospect Nolan Lalonde (Columbus Blue Jackets, ’22 UDFA), would be free-agent invitees Sam Alfano (Los Angeles), Alexis Daviault (Ottawa), Spencer Sova (Toronto), Colby Saganiuk (Vancouver), and Otters’ alumni Daniel D’Amato (Vegas).
With over a handful of players representing the Erie Otters around different NHL camps, general manager Dave Brown praised the young players on their development and advancement.
“It’s a very exciting time for all our players – and a significant one. Continual learning and unique experiences are essential for our athletes, and one that helps build the organization.” said Brown, “We are very proud of each of them, and can’t wait to see what new skills and experiences they bring back to the Otters organization.”
Take a look below at each active Otters player and where they’ll be participating for the 2023 NHL Development Camp season.
CAREY TERRANCE – ANAHEIM DUCKS
The latest-and-greatest member of the Erie Otters NHL Draft class (44th all-time), Carey Terrance would hear his name called early on Day 2 of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks.
The #10 overall pick in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Carey Terrance was highly-regarded as a skilled, pro-style skater heading into the Ontario Hockey League. Now with two full seasons in the OHL under his belt – including his most recent as the Otters’ alternate captain – Terrance showcased himself as a crafty, playmaking, game-changing forward with a high ceiling. First in team-scoring at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season, the alternate captain Terrance tripled his season-over-season goal total by finishing with 30 goals (47 TP) in 67 games played. Terrance’s season off the ice was highlighted by a second-place finish in the naming of Bobby Smith Trophy, awarded to the OHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year. Ranked #38 overall among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting in the Final Rankings, Terrance’s stock took a heightened boost thanks to a great showing at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, NY.
Hearing his name called early on Day 2 of the NHL Entry Draft, Terrance’s excitement to join the Anaheim Ducks was the first major step of a lifelong dream of playing at hockey’s highest level. Moreover, the selection represented his entire home community of Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne – with the territory holding a widely-attended watch party for Terrance’s anticipated pick. With great pride in his heritage, Terrance hopes to be the second Mohawk actively playing in the NHL in the near future. Terrance was joined by fellow OHLers in Coulson Pitre (FLNT) and Konnor Smith (PBO) as part of the Ducks’ 2023 Draft class.
Anaheim’s camp starts on July 3, and will run until July 6. As one of the Ducks’ top-three picks in the latest Draft, Carey Terrance will have a major number of eyes on him, and great expectation to perform. Coming off of a tremendous season in the OHL and internationally, Terrance is as conditioned and ready as anyone in hockey.
NOLAN LALONDE – COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
The only rostered player of the Erie Otters to be signed to an NHL Entry Level Contract in the 2022-23 season, Nolan Lalonde had to forge his way to the league through fire. An undrafted free agent after his first go-around of the NHL Draft in 2022, Lalonde would be invited to the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Development Camp in 2022, but not advance to the preseason roster. Rather, it would be the NHL club due west of Pittsburgh – the Columbus Blue Jackets – who would notice the compete and caliber of Lalonde, and bring him aboard in the preseason. During his exhibitions and scrimmages, Lalonde would impress brass and fans alike, earning a three-year Entry Level Contract just before the start of the 2022-23 NHL season.
The most tenured of the Erie Otters’ goaltending corps., Lalonde would suit up in 41 games in the 2022-23 OHL season following his contract signing. The year would be full of peaks and valleys for the second-year OHLer, who would come out of the gate in the season with a 4-0-0-1 record – including the dramatic home-opening win against the eventual Western Conference champion London Knights, where Lalonde would allow a single goal in a full 60 minutes. The highest peak of the season for the Blue Jackets’ prospect would come on a Wednesday night in Owen Sound, ON where Lalonde would stop a career-high 44 shots enroute to his lone shutout of the season, and second in his OHL career. Lalonde has suited up in 95 total OHL games, holding a 3.82 GAA, .873 SV%, and two shutouts.
Columbus’ camp began on July 2, and will run until July 5. With this being the first Development Camp for Lalonde with the Blue Jackets, the excitement is high on Lalonde to showcase the abilities that have made him a name-to-know out of the OHL.
SAM ALFANO – LOS ANGELES KINGS (FA)
Acquired by Erie by way of a player-for-player trade with Peterborough near the end of the 2022 Summer, Sam Alfano represents the new wave of Erie Otter scorer – offensive-focused, big-bodied power forward who isn’t afraid to throw the weight around. With that in mind, it goes without saying that Alfano was one of the many players who saw great benefit from the addition of head coach Stan Butler to the Erie Otters roster.
The Cayuga, ON native finished out the 2022-23 season on an offensive tear. In the final month of the season, Alfano amassed 11 points (8G+3A) for a season total of 33 points (18G+15A) in 59 games – all offensive career-highs. With a full season under his belt in Erie, and a full season on the horizon of playing an offensive system built for players like Alfano to succeed, there is a bright future for #33 in navy.
This isn’t the first bout at the NHL level for Sam Alfano – the 19-year-old forward participated in 2022 NHL Development Camps with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, and was part of the New York Rangers’ Training Camp roster early on. Now the pro-style, 6’3″ 205 lbs. forward will head to the West Coast as a free-agent invite to the Los Angeles Kings’ Development Camp alongside six fellow OHLers – including former teammate Samuel Mayer (PBO).
Los Angeles’ camp begins on July 6 and will run until July 10. As an undrafted free agent, Alfano will look to get the eyes of the Kings’ staff on him in hopes of landing a Training Camp or Preseason roster spot.
ALEXIS DAVIAULT – OTTAWA SENATORS (FA)
An acquisition near the OHL Trade Deadline by the Erie Otters from the Sarnia Sting, Alexis Daviault played in more regular season games than any other Otter – playing in 71/68 games (41 for ER, 30 for SAR).
A crafty offensive-defenseman, Daviault would find plenty of scoring contributions while also being a heavily-rotated blueliner. Playing in 41 games for the Otters, Daviault would have a career-high in points-per-game as a member of the team – adding 15 points (2G+13A) during his time.
Ottawa’s camp began on July 2, and will run until July 6. As Daviault’s first opportunity to participate in an NHL Development Camp – doing so as an undrafted free agent – Daviault will be alongside 14 fellow OHLers in the Canadian capital.
SPENCER SOVA – TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (FA)
A fire in the belly and a hunger to put his talent on display will lead Erie’s Spencer Sova to the largest city in North America for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Development Camp.
Selected #8 overall in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Sova’s two-way ability as a smooth-skating, puck-carrying offensive defenseman has made him a 200-foot threat. Coming into his second season in Erie, the 19-year-old defenseman spent the early offseason with Hockey Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for 2022 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Named an alternate captain for Erie at season’s start, Sova would go on to lead all Otter defensemen with 39 points (16G+23A) behind an ironman 68 game season. Moreover, Sova would be recognized as a top 10 goal-scoring defenseman in OHL, top 30 total-scoring defenseman in OHL in 2022-23 season, and be named the Best Skater in the OHL’s Western Conference in the end-of-season Coaches Poll. This is the second opportunity to showcase skills and ability for Sova at the NHL level, after spending the 2022 NHL Development Camp and Training Camp with the Buffalo Sabres.
Toronto’s camp began on July 2, and will run until July 3. Sova will compete alongside 11 fellow OHLers as part of the Development Camp.
COLBY SAGANIUK – VANCOUVER CANUCKS (FA)
One of Erie’s overage forwards ahead of the 2023-24 season, Colby Saganiuk will get the opportunity to put his abilities on display ahead of his final major junior season.
A scrappy, speedy forward for the Otters, the Chicago native has found nearly 70 points in his two seasons in Erie. With 113 games under his belt, Saganiuk has put up 69 points (21G+48A) – including 32 points (7G+25A) in the latest season with two game-winning goals.
Vancouver’s camp began on July 1, and will run until July 4. This will be Saganiuk’s second time competing in an NHL Development Camp, spending Summer 2021 with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Development Camp. Saganiuk will be alongside seven fellow OHLers out on the Canadian West Coast.
The Erie Otters congratulate all of our current & former players competing at NHL Development Camps, and look forward to their continued career and professional growths.
For further information on the Erie Otters and for media inquiries, please contact Shawn Bednard at [email protected].