The countdown is on to hockey season. It’s roughly one month until North Stars training camp will open and the Stars have made a few trades.
Stars head coach and GM Kevin Hasselberg has re-acquired forward Nick Fountain from Abitibi of the NOHJL. Fountain played two games for the Stars last season before being traded to Winkler. Hasselberg says Fountain will help the team in numerous ways including in the locker room. Fountain is a great kid who I enjoyed meeting last season and I look forward to seeing him again here at the end of August. He’s also a player who really wants to be a part of the Stars organization and is well liked by his team mates. Fountain is going to do whatever it takes to be a part of the North Stars. He will do whatever it takes to make his team better. And he is the type of player and person that every team needs.
The Stars also picked up 6’3″ 18 year old forward Robin Carlson from the Lloydminster Bobcats. Carlson battled injuries in his rookie season but does have offensive upside and is a player the Stars have been following for some time. Hasselberg told me he likes Carlson’s size and that the young player’s challenge is to use that size effectively. He put up really good offensive numbers in Midget and is a player who could come to the team and provide some scoring. The Stars recruited Carlson before he decided to stay in Alberta. This is a player that Hasselberg has watched a lot. The Stars head coach and GM told me that Carlson comes highly recommended and they are very happy to have added him to the fold.
Both trades were for future considerations.
The Stars also traded 20 year old forward Brandon Long to Drayton Valley of the AJHL for futures. Hasselberg says Long was caught up in a numbers game as the team is carrying too many 20 year olds. Long had 10-goals and 17-assists in 48-games for the Stars last season. This is the tough part of this time of year. Long is a very intelligent young man. He also scored some of the nicest goals last season using that great wrist shot. I had several really good chats with his dad who was at a lot of games. Long is from the Calgary area so he will be closer to home and his family will have more of a chance to see him play in his final season but he will be missed. It was nice getting to know Brandon and we all wish him the best in DV. Hopefully he rips it up in the AJHL. The Stars picked up futures from Drayton Valley in that trade.
Carlson and Fountain will now face the task of having to make the North Stars. No player is guaranteed a spot on this team and I know the Stars have done a lot of recruiting. After last season’s playoff exit, the players and staff are hungry to have a bounce back season. It’s going to be competitive, intense and extremely fun to watch. But more on that later.
Training camp opens the final week of August. I will have a preview later this week.