Pat McIver has a message for Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals’ fans.
“We feel with the core group of guys we have coming back, our prospects and some guys who have the potential to come back from major (junior), we are going to be right back in the thick of things next year,” the general manager told the Journal Pioneer in a phone interview. “We feel confident we will compete for a championship next year, for sure.”
The Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL) playoffs were cancelled on Friday due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The Caps, who finished atop the 12-team league’s overall standings at 42-7-3 (won-lost-overtime losses), were scheduled to open the playoffs against Fredericton on Saturday.
Despite graduating eight players – goaltender Dominik Tmej, defencemen Jacob Arsenault and Brodie MacMillan and forwards Brodie MacArthur, Kallum Muirhead, Marc-Andre LeCouffe, Carson MacKinnon and Zach Thususka – and 370 offensive points, McIver explained his reasons for being optimistic.
“We have a lot of guys eligible to come back next year and if they all take a step forward, we will be back in the mix next year,” he continued. “We are losing some top-end guys, no question. Will we be as dominant as this year?
“Probably not, but I truly believe we will be a team to be reckoned with next year.”
McIver said he is hoping to have the team’s entire staff, led by head coach Billy McGuigan, return and preparation work is already underway June’s draft.
“We have some great players on our (protected) list,” said McIver. “Our prospect pool is probably as good as anybody in the league.”
Although he noted the Caps do not have an abundance of picks this year, he said the team’s scouts will be prepared.
“Nobody works harder than our guys,” said McIver. “We’ll be ready to go in the fall sure.”
- Click here for story on Western Capitals' season ending unexpectedly:
- Click here for story on MHL playoffs cancelled:
- Click here for story on Western Capitals receiving MHL awards:
- Click here for story on Western Capitals named MHL all-stars: