It’s a time of transition for the Spokane Chiefs as they put together for the 2022-23 season with a brand new head coach with a well-known face.
The workforce named Ryan Smith its head coach on June 27, eradicating the “interim” tag he had when he took over in February of final season. Smith took a Chiefs workforce treading water within the Western Convention and led a second-half surge to make the playoffs. He’s been on the Chiefs’ bench the earlier two seasons as an assistant.
The Chiefs additionally named Matt Bardsley their new normal supervisor on Might 3.
Smith leads a workforce this season trying to get constantly higher and keep wholesome.
It’s a workforce with promising expertise in rookie Berkly Catton and second-year defenseman Saige Weinstein. The Chiefs additionally return two NHL draft picks in goaltender Mason Beaupit and defenseman Graham Sward, chosen this summer season by the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators, respectively.
Eighty-two gamers will take to the freshly painted Spokane Area ice this weekend for a tournament-style preseason camp. The gamers are cut up into 4 groups, every named after former Chiefs gamers – Trevor Kidd, Bryan McCabe, Dustin Tokarski and Jared Spurgeon.
Thirty-three gamers at camp had been born in 2007, making them ineligible for a full-time roster spot. Certainly one of them is the workforce’s first-round bantam draft decide, Chase Harrington.
All 13 of Spokane’s 2022 bantam draft picks will likely be at camp. As well as, each of Spokane’s U.S. precedence draft picks – Landon Hafele and Ryan Denes – will likely be current.
Notably, only one import participant will likely be there: heart Tommaso De Luca, the Chiefs’ lone draft decide throughout this summer season’s Canadian Hockey League import draft. Defenseman David Jiricek, the Chiefs’ 2020 import draft decide, will not be on the preseason roster, although the Chiefs nonetheless retain his rights. Jiricek was chosen sixth general by the Columbus Blue Jackets at this summer season’s NHL draft and could be an enormous addition to the Chiefs’ blue line. Since Jiricek was drafted from his workforce in Europe, he’s eligible for the American Hockey League ought to Columbus need him there.
The Chiefs’ two import gamers final season – Yannick Proske and Timafey Kovgoreniya – won’t return to the workforce.
As for individuals who will likely be at camp, there will likely be loads of competitors to enhance on final yr’s efficiency.
The Chiefs should contend once more with the aggressive U.S. Division, and it’ll begin on the again finish. Sward leads a defensive corps that surrendered a median of 34 pictures on web per sport final season.
Beaupit’s .893 save share is far more spectacular than it appears to be like on paper when taking the pictures in opposition to into consideration.
Sward and Raegan Wiles are the returning veterans, and Weintstein is a promising 17-year-old. Mac Gross is competing for one in every of three 20-year-old spots, and Brayden Crampton and Logan Cunningham look to construct on their rookie years. Children Will McIsaac and Nathan Mayes may even get lengthy appears to be like in camp.
Beaupit is the No. 1 man in web heading into camp. Manny Panghli, who appeared in 20 video games final season, is again to compete for the backup place with 17-year-old Cooper Michaluk, who impressed in 5 appearances final yr.
At ahead, the Chiefs will probably depend on veterans like 19-year-old Chase Bertholet, the workforce’s main returning scorer. Reed Jacobson, Erik Atchison and Cade Hayes will compete for the 20-year-old roster spots.
Jacobson may even be relied upon for scoring, however the Chiefs will want others to step up. Ty Cheveldayoff proved as soon as Smith took over final season that his talent set is extra than simply being an enormous physique who can hit and battle. Carter Streek was flashy at instances and might want to show he’s a constant scorer. Blake Swetlikoff continues to be looking for his breakout season.
Some notable camp attendees embrace Submit Falls native Dante Hughes, the brother of former Chief Bear Hughes. Coeur d’Alene native Mason Lochten may even be at camp.
Additionally attending is KJ Sauer, the son of former Chief Kurt Sauer. Hughes and Lochten are of their 17-year-old season. Sauer is in his 15-year-old season and never eligible for a full-time roster spot.
The preseason camp event begins Thursday and concludes with the annual Pink-White sport at 10:30 a.m. Sunday on the Area.