The Brampton Beast Aim Higher This Season
The Habs’ ECHL Affiliate looks to improve on their previous campaign
The Brampton Beast hope to be a more competitive team this season after finishing with only 57 points last season, bad enough for second last in the entire ECHL.
Injuries and call-ups to the AHL IceCaps hampered the Beast, as 12 players split time on between the leagues, including goaltender Eddie Pasquale, defenders Josiah Didier, Dalton Thrower, Mac Bennett, and Travis Brown, as well as forwards Tim Bozon, Mark MacMillan, Brandon McNally, Angelo Miceli, Stefan Fournier. In addition, Luke Pither and Luc-Olivier Blain signed mid-season PTOs due to the limping IceCaps roster. At some points the IceCaps loaned up to six AHL contracted players to the Beast, other times there were none. The severely depleted Beast struggled as a result.
If you think that the Canadiens and IceCaps used a lot of players last season, the Beast used in incredible 59 skaters and 11 goalies in total!
This year, the Beast will obviously be hoping for a bit more stability in nets. Two of those 11 goalies from last season are returning this season: University of Guelph graduate Andrew D’Agostini (two games played last season) and veteran Brampton native Bryan Pitton (one game played). They could also potentially add another goalie on an NHL contract, as the Montreal Canadiens have five netminders currently, meaning an odd man out in St. John’s could find his way to Brampton.
Brampton used 18 defencemen last season, and of that 18, only four are returning, possibly five if AHL contracted Jeremy Blain is loaned to the team. One of the returnees includes crowd favourite Mike Vernace, fourth in assists by a defenceman in the League last year. Newcomer Justin Baker played in Slovakia last season and is currently still with the Montreal Canadiens on a tryout basis. With the IceCaps abundance at defence, you can expect at least one to be loaned to the Beast, most likely Dalton Thrower and/or Josiah Didier.
The team’s leading scorer last season Brandon Marino also returns for another season, as do Luc-Olivier Blain and Luke Pither. The Beast pilfered the German second league for reinforcements this season as well, signing high scoring David Vallorani, former IceCap Brandon McLean, and Taylor Carnevale from Europe. Two players on tryouts with the Canadiens David Pacan and David Broll also signed with the club. Pacan for his slick hands and Broll for his rough knuckles. A few IceCap forwards should also find their way to the ECHL including Connor Crisp and Tim Bozon.
With a revamped roster the Beast hope to find more success on the ice, and in the stands where they had the third lowest attendance in the League. The Beast start their training camp on Oct. 2nd with 27 players scheduled to attend. Four of those players received tryouts based on their performance at the team’s Free Agent Camp during the summer.