The Fort Frances Lakers have added to new face to their 2017 – 2018 Superior International Junior Hockey League roster with forwards Adam Withers and Christian Ward coming to northwestern Ontario.
Jeff Venzon and future considerations headed to Waywayseecappo, Manitoba in exchange for the 5’10” and 170 lbs Withers hits the ice with the Lakers after starting the 2017 – 2018 season with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines. In 21 MJHL games in Waywayseecappo, the 19 year old Kenora, Ontario native sank seven goals and added six assists along with tallying 18 minutes in penalties. In 2016 – 2017, Withers had 14 points with 6 goals and 14 contributors with the Wolverines and MJHL Selkirk Steelers.
“Adam was a player we tried to get at the deadline in January 2017, but unfortunately he was moved to Wayway. When we had the opportunity this year we went after him hard. Adam is a good two-way player that can produce and he is a welcome addition to the team” said Laker coach Wayne Strachan.
Thunder Bay, Ontario native Ward returns to northwestern Ontario after spending the first 11 games in the Western States Hockey League with the Southern Oregon Spartans before joining the Lakers this week. The 5’10” and 140 lbs forward had four goals and three helpers with the Spartans to begin the 2017 – 2018 hockey season. The 19 year old forward had 27 goals and 22 assists in 2016 – 2017 with the NA3HL Missouri Junior Bruins. The 2017 – 2018 season will be Ward’s second time playing in the SIJHl with his first back in 2015 – 2016 with the Thunder Bay North Stars where Christian had six goals and 5 helpers in 45 appearances with his hometown junior ‘A’ franchise.
Strachan told the Junior Hockey Network that “last season he scored 27 goals and he was off to a good start this year as well. We are hoping some of that goal scoring can translate into our line up. “
In other moves for Fort Frances, the Lakers parted ways with forward Colton Yaremko and goaltender Michael Binczyk as well as moved netminder Rob Ivy to the SIJHL Minnesota Iron Rangers. 20 year old veteran forward Jared Gustafson, rainy River, Ontario native has left the franchise while adding 18 year old Fort Frances native