It's been a busy offseason already for hockey signings in the Quinte region.
The Picton Pirates Jr. C hockey team is shaping up their club for the 2017-18 season by hiring Ty Green as their new head coach, replacing outgoing bench boss Chris Masterson and bringing Jamie Lane aboard as their new assistant coach. They have also started to fill some open spots on their roster. They have signed three forwards; Noah Brant, Justin Arnold and Brayden Bertrand.
Brant and Arnold are both 2000-born players and both come from the Quinte Red Devils Midget AAA program. In the 2016-17 season, Brant posted 23 points (seven goals and 16 assists) in 40 games with the Red Devils and added four points in nine games as an affiliated player with the Pirates. Picton management is hoping he can add some grit and skill to the team.
Arnold, a Prince Edward County native, scored seven goals as well and added 12 assists for 19 points for the Red Devils. Arnold brings solid speed and top-end playmaking skills to the team, according to the Pirates.
Bertrand meanwhile, comes from the Centre Hastings Grizzlies Midget organization and is expected to provide grit, sandpaper and skill to the Pirates.
All three players are expected to attend Pirates main camp in August.
Meanwhile, three more Major Midget Red Devils will make the jump to the Ontario Junior A Hockey League next season.
Belleville native Madoka Suzuki is heading to the defending RBC Cup national champion Cobourg Cougars organization following a 16 goal, 44 point 2016-17 campaign. Suzuki was also a 2nd round, 39th overall selection to the Owen Sound Attack in the inaugural OHL U18 draft in April.
And, both Joe Roy and Matthew Sherwin have been nabbed by the Whitby Fury. Roy, a Stirling native, led all Red Devils defencemen in scoring with 25 points this past season. He also got into five games with the Trenton Golden Hawks as an affiliated player in 2016-17. The Niagara Icedogs made him their 7th round, 136th overall pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection draft.
Sherwin finished third in team scoring behind Suzuki and Nate Boomhower this past year, posting 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points. Sherwin was selected five picks before Roy in the 2016 OHL draft by the Owen Sound Attack a year ago.
All three players also played for the Minor Midget Red Devils in 2015-16, making an OHL Cup tournament appearance.
Congratulations and best wishes to all players getting set to compete at the junior level this coming season.