Hockey fans should not be alarmed, however; the team has acquired a number of strong recruits from the major junior circuit.
Chris Carrozzi, hailing from Ottawa, Ont., is set to compete for UNB’s goaltending position. Carrozzi was drafted by the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Atlanta Thrashers after finishing off a solid four-year career with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors. He has also competed at the minor professional level with a number of teams.
Carrozzi was named the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) goalie of the year in 2009-2010 after posting a 2.36 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.
He will be joined by Cameron Brace, a highly- touted recruit who is coming off a five-year career in the OHL. Four of those years were spent with the Owen Sound Attack, where he was a part of their 2011 OHL Championship squad.
“Cameron is a dynamic player with top-notch speed and an excellent shot. He should thrive on our style of play and be a crowd favourite here at UNB,” said head coach Gardiner MacDougall in a press release.
Another exciting prospect for UNB is right-handed defenceman Colin Suellentrop, a five-year veteran of the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He played in 313 games over his major junior career, where he scored 11 goals and contributed 74 assists. He also added 368 penalty minutes.
Suellentrop was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Draft. He has attended training camps for both the Flyers and the Florida Panthers and will be heading to Arizona Coyotes camp this fall.
In addition, four players will be suiting up for the V-Reds after successful careers in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Matt Boudens of Pembroke, Ont. comes to UNB after a breakout year with the Drummondville Voltigeurs. He was named captain of the team in his final season and finished his QMJHL career with 110 points in 170 games. He will be attending Florida Panthers rookie camp this fall.
Chris Caissy of Campbellton, N.B. is coming off a successful first season with the Moncton Wildcats. Despite missing 15 games due to serious injury, he scored 43 points in 53 games with the Wildcats.
Previously, Caissy starred in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MHL), where he won the league championship with the Summerside Western Capitals in 2012-2013 and was named playoff MVP.
The Varsity Reds will also be adding some homegrown talent this season. Peter Trainor, a former Fredericton AAA Canadien, is coming off an incredible QMJHL career in which he put up 218 points in 203 games.
During the 2012-2013 season, he scored 100 points with the Rimouski Oceanic and was named a QMJHL Second Team All-Star.
Lastly, 6’2”, 225-lb defenceman Randy Gazzola has been recruited by the Reds. Gazzola, a native of Thorold, Ont., posted 16 goals and 74 points in 68 games with the Val-d’Or Foreurs last season. He added four goals and 24 points in 24 playoff games, helping his team win the 2014 QMJHL title.
UNB has also added veteran defenceman Alex Wall who has spent the past three seasons playing with the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers.
Fans will get their first look at some of these new recruits when UNB takes on the St. Thomas Tommies on Monday, Sept. 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Grant-Harvey Centre.