The London Knights skate into the 2021-22 hungry for success once again, confident in their returning players’ ability to lead and impressed by the eagerness of the new guys. With puck drop on the horizon, assistant coach Dylan Hunter attests to the team’s strong points.
“We have a really good mix of young guys and old guys. We’re excited as a group, as many other teams are. We have basically two draft classes coming in, so double the young guys and they’re all hungry to play and we’re all excited to see what they can do. It’s been a pleasure for us. To have 12 to 13 guys that are hungry to watch video and go hard in practice, it’s been really enjoyable.” – Dylan Hunter
2019-20 Record: 45-15-1-1, 92 Points (First in Midwest Division)
Head Coach: Dale Hunter (20th Season)
Opening Game: Friday, Oct. 8 vs. Owen Sound
A secondary player two years ago when the Knights were last on the ice, returning forward Luke Evangelista is ready to continue his mark as a go-to guy up front. The Nashville Predators pick posted a remarkable 61 points in 62 games (57 of which were even-strength points) in 2019-20 and brings a dedication and an unselfishness that has gone a long way with Hunter. His character and leadership abilities set a good example for the younger players and he has the ability to make his teammates better with his playmaking skills.
Brett Brochu launched himself onto the map midway through the 2019-20 season at 17-years-old chasing some franchise and League records. This year, he’ll be the Knights’ linchpin in net. “He’s a goalie you love to shoot against because he tries on every rebound, on every practice drill, on every shot,” Hunter described of Brochu, who was invited to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ training camp as a free agent. “When you score on him, you know you had a good shot.”
The Knights are anchored in this season by a younger D-core that is going to step up and want to play their 20-25 minutes. Ben Roger will be a big block on the blue line and a foundation of what their steady defenders can accomplish. The 18-year-old has made big strides in his defensive side and got rewarded for it in the 2021 NHL Draft as a second round selection of the Ottawa Senators.