Main photo: Some of the returning Otters, staff, and new players on August 11 (front from left) GM Marc Gagnon, head coach Andrew Shipley, Cody Jones, Adam Dupuis; (second row from left) Harry Karrietha, Zachary Farnsworth, Cole Earl, Graeme MacDougall; (back row from left) Cameron Walters, Glen Gagnon, and Colin Jones. (Courtesy of the Huntsville Junior C Otters)
The PJHL (Provincial Junior Hockey League) has set December 1 as the target start date for this year’s regular season, and the Huntsville Junior C Otters are gearing up so they’ll be ready to hit the ice.
“We are staying positive and excited about the upcoming season,” said Otters president, Monty Clouthier.
As the Otters organization awaits the green light for the coming season, they are working to set up the 2020-21 team.
Marc Gagnon, the team’s former coach, has accepted both general manager and club player development positions.
The team has also hired a new head coach.
“The whole Otters organization is happy to announce that Andrew Shipley from Barrie is new head coach. Andrew coached Bantam AAA last season and has coached at different levels in Barrie. Andrew played and coached in China as well. He has also been doing skills camps for the last few years in Barrie,” said Gagnon.
The organization is excited to welcome Shipley as they feel he will be well respected by the players.
“I’m excited to be a part of the organization,” said Shipley. “Looking forward to starting the season.”
The Otters bench has also welcomed new assistant coach, Brandon Happeney. He has played for the Kingston Voyageurs in the Ontario Junior Hockey League and also played Canadian University Sports for the Nipissing Lakers.
Gagnon also shared that the team has added some new roles which “are all important pieces and will bring experience to the team.”
Barry Parish is the new assistant GM.
Mitchell Jones was last year’s team MVP and will be back as this season’s full-time goalie coach.
Cody Jones is a proud former team captain and returns as this year’s Huntsville Minor Hockey Association liaison/scout. He will be the link to the U18 hockey teams and others in the HMHA.
Keith Cyr will be the team’s scout in the Barrie area. Cyr has coached in the league and knows what’s available there.
Former Otter Jared Stevens rejoins the team as a local scout. He’s well-known in the community and knows the game well.
Jake McIntyre is also a previous Otter captain and will bring his off-ice leadership as a scout to help build a strong club.
“I am really excited with these additions as they all have the same one goal in mind…the team,” said Gagnon.
The Otters first signing of the 2020-21 season was with Ian Crane from Barrie. Crane played for the Barrie Colts Midget AAA under-18 team last season. He is pro-like and a well-positioned goaltender who has been on the ice with a group of OHL goaltenders over the last few months. “He is pumped to be an Otter,” Gagnon said.
The Otters second signing, Noah Villeneuve, played for the Toronto Jr Canadians Midget AAA club last season. “The big centre man plays a two-way style play. Likes to take care of his own end. Noah is very strong at taking face-offs,” said Gagnon.
The team’s latest signing is with Scott Ummells who played for the Barrie U18 team. Ummells is a forward left wing player with lots of speed.
Players who want to be considered for this season’s Jr C Otters roster should contact Marc Gagnon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!