CANMORE – The Canmore Eagles wasted no time in kicking off a new fiscal year as the club signed forward Carter Myrol from the Grand Prairie Storm on June 1.
The signing completed a mega-trade, going back to Jan. 8, which saw the acquisition of Lukas Jirousek, Zac Cunningham and a future consideration in exchange for Max Giangualano and Carter Coles.
The 18-year-old, Edmonton-native, Myrol signed with the Eagles as the future consideration, on the first day of the league’s new fiscal year, completing the trade. Myrol completed his AJHL rookie season with the Storm last season, netting seven goals and 11 points in 40 contests.
“Carter’s a guy we knew from his Edmonton days. We think he will be a good asset for what we’re looking for – he’s the right age and the right fit,” said Eagles general manager Andrew Milne.
On Thursday (June 4), Milne signed a pair of players. Kelowna-born Isaac Suppin and Nashville, Tenn. native Parks Wallace put pen to paper becoming the latest editions to the Eagles roster. Last season in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, Suppin lead his Pursuit of Excellence team in scoring with 27 goals and 51 points in just 33 games.
Milne is hopeful that successful offensive output will translate to the AJHL.
“He is a guy that has a tremendous skillset and that has come pretty easy to him and I think he’s going to have to realize right away how competitive our league is,” Milne said.
“There’s going to be a level of competition not only between teams but internally. Guys will be fighting for ice time and I don’t think that is something he has been challenged on because he has always been able to produce offensively.”
With the addition of Wallace to the Eagles blueline, Milne is hopeful the 18-year-old American-import will help solidify an already mobile defence.
In 25 games last season the 6’1” blueliner had 13 points to lead defencemen in scoring on his Nashville Jr. Predators U18 team.
“He was a guy that wanted to make the jump up to Canada, and like Isaac, he has a great toolset so it will be interesting to see where he fits in.”
The Eagles believes it is vital in today’s game to have a mobile defence that can join the rush. With the likes of Drae Gardiner, Cameron Chin and Dylan Witzke already, Milne is excited with the addition of Wallace.
“We’ve got defencemen that can produce offensively … where the game has got to defensemen don’t just defend and forwards don’t just score, it’s a five-man game,” Milne said.
Thursday (June 4) also marked the day Hockey Canada issued a statement regarding the return-to-hockey process in Canada.
“After ongoing discussions with the board of directors, our chief medical officer, the 13 members and public health authorities across the country, it has been determined that the best approach for a return to hockey in Canada is to allow each member the opportunity to work with authorities in their respective regions to determine when it is safe to return to the ice in areas that fall under their jurisdiction,” said a Hockey Canada press release.
For the Eagles, this means when arenas reopen as part of the province’s relaunch strategy, currently planned for phase 3, the club may resume on-ice, sanctioned activities – subject to compliance with current health and safety standards in Alberta and Hockey Alberta’s return-to-hockey plan.
“We’re sitting in a position where – yeah sure once rinks open we can hold sanctioned events, which we already knew,” said Milne. He added that the league cannot only focus on the return-to-play plan, but has to be aware also of the gathering of fans.
“Our league does not survive without crowds. It’s one thing to say we can get on the ice and skate and another to say we can get a crowd of fans inside the building to watch us.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the start of the season and how the league will operate, Milne said they will be ready to go as soon as the protocols are established.