The London Knights of 2016/17 are rounding into shape as the roster seems to be set, minus a few tweaks. The possibility of Mitch Marner and Matthew Tkachuk returning seem to be a long shot at best and in the case of Marner nearly impossible. That being said this version of the Knights has enough talent to challenge for the Division title. But the Windsor Spitfires who are the Memorial Cup hosts this season have loaded up with talent at all positions early into the OHL season and look unbeatable as their team rounds into form and the newly acquired players become accustomed to playing with each other. With the cyclical nature of junior hockey one would wonder what moves the Knights will make as the season progresses. London certainly has enough scoring from the top line of Pu, Jones and Kuokkanen. Second year forward(still classed as a rookie) Alex Formenton continues to impress as his ability and skill level improve with the added responsibilities from the coaching staff. The play of Robert Thomas and returning forward Sam Militec need to be mentioned as well. Both players have more of a defensive role on this team and can be counted on to shut down the opposition’s top forwards on a nightly basis. Rookie Cole Tymkin has an abrasive side to his game that frustrates the opposition at every turn and is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Overage players Brandon Crawley and Owen MacDonald have become leaders on this team and though neither player is blessed with an abundance of talent what they lack in skill they make up for with energy and desire. It promises to be an interesting year in London and by mid-season we should have a better gauge where this team is headed.
The Knights have reeled off 5 victories in a row and currently sit in third place in the Western Conference behind the Windsor Spitfires and leaders the Erie Otters. London has been on fire scoring 7 plus goals in 3 of those victories and are currently playing a 3 game in 3 day weekend and return home from a lopsided victory over the Niagara IceDogs to face a rested Windsor Spitfires team. With the lack of an experienced backup goaltender the Knights have elected to rest starter Tyler Parsons on 2 occasions in this mini winning streak dressing rookie goalies Trenton McGrail and Jordan Kooy. Kooy has looked good in the games he has played in and with the added experience Kooy may be an option to take over the backup role in the future.
AS ALWAYS SEE YOU AT THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!