A good veteran core up front and size on the back end are just two of the reasons fans should be excited about the Windsor Spitfires this season. New head coach Marc Savard provides the details on why the Spits are a team to look out for from head to bottom.
“At the end of the day, there’s no reason you can’t be the hardest working team so that’s something I’m going to stress a lot. Just being a group, being like a family, being together, having each other’s backs…I think when push comes to shove, that’ll help us win games, when each guy’s pulling for each other.” – Marc Savard
2019-20 Record: 34-20-8-0, 72 points (Third in West Division)
Head Coach: Marc Savard (First season)
Opening Game: Thursday, Oct. 7 vs. Sarnia
A big piece of that veteran presence up front lies in responsible centreman Wyatt Johnston. The first round 2021 Dallas Stars draft pick is gifted offensively, great defensively, and reliable in the faceoff department. Savard describes Johnston as a player who “doesn’t make a lot of mistakes” with a game similar to that of Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. “If he goes most nights, our team’s going to Go,” said Savard of the recent U18s gold medalist.
With two OHL seasons and some AHL experience under his belt, big 6-foot-3 winger Will Cuylle joins Johnston as a leader and elite piece of the Spitfires’ star power up front. The New York Rangers prospect plays an energetic game with a physical edge and could easily shape up to be a 40+ goal scorer in the League, Savard anticipates.
With an explosive pre-season debut, fourth overall 2021 OHL Priority Selection pick Ethan Miedema is already turning heads on the ice. Standing tall at 6-foot-4, the offensively-gifted rookie has impressed Savard with his skillset and understanding of the game. “[He’s] going to get a great opportunity in Windsor and could be Rookie of the Year, that’s how head on I see him right now,” Savard said of the 16-year-old skater.