Maroons Coach Happy With Offseason
That process began with adding three Chatham-Kent products, Cameron Welch, Evan Wells, and Lucas Fancy.
“I think for a base we targeted the three local prospects as guys who we not only liked as players, but as local guys playing for the Maroons it’s something they have been dreaming of since they were young,” said Makaric. “We got off to a great start with Wells, Welch and Fancy. They are all super competitive, play with pace and will be important pieces for us in future years.”
After the group of locals, Makaric, his coaching staff, and assistant GM Kevin Fisher went about signing a group of 2001 born players to build their roster not only for this season, but for the future.
This group including Zachary Power, Jack Zekelman, Josh DiCarlo, and Adam Harris. The team also signed 2000 forward Vincent DeSanctis.
“Zach Power was very impressive at our camp,” said Makaric of the Sarnia Major Midget ‘AAA’ leading scorer from last season. “His game stood out and after contacting previous coaches and doing some research he checked all the boxes. A few other teams were interested but we were his first choice.”
With Makaric and assistant Andrew Donaldson both coming with coaching backgrounds from the Windsor Major Midget ‘AAA’ program, the team then reached out and grabbed top players from that program.
“Andrew Donaldson coached DiCarlo and Zekleman last season and did a great job developing them for this upcoming season,” explained Makaric. “Josh is a pass first type of forward who makes the players around him better, and Jack has a great stick and defends well all over the ice. He skates well and is a great puck mover from the back end.”
The final piece of the 2001 group was goalie Adam Harris.
“Not many goalies at that age are as polished as he is,” Makaric said of Harris, who joins the team from Oakville’s Major Midget ‘AAA’ program. “The way he communicates with his teammates on the ice and his approach to the goaltending position really stood out. He has loads of potential and I’m thrilled he chose to pursue his junior Hockey career with us.”
Finally, Chatham went out and made a splash acquiring four veterans from Caledonia and Elmira, trading for Nolan Gardiner, Sean O’Brien, Matthew Murray, and Eddie Schulz.
“Brett Hope was the initial spark to the talks and with him and our current returning guys it started to take shape,” said Makaric of his assistant coach.
“From there Kevin Fisher and also our scout Dan Entwistle did a lot of leg work to make this happen. These are big time players who bring character and work ethic that will be infectious to our youth.”
“All in all the team has a great balance of Veterans and young players. We are very excited to start working with this group come August.”
So far, the only announced loss to the Chatham Maroons lineup is Grant Spence, who has signed with the OJHL’s North York Rangers.