Defenceman Mulder joining Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL
By Pat Payton
St. Marys Lincolns will have two new goaltenders stopping pucks when the 2020-21 GOJHL season starts sometime this fall.
Lincs recently got Ryan Wheeler’s name on a players’ card. The 17-year-old joins veteran goalie Sean Andrus, 19, who the Lincolns signed earlier this summer.
Wheeler hails from Kincardine, but now resides in St. Marys. The former Grey-Bruce Highlander suited up for the Huron-Perth ‘AAA’ Major Midgets last season.
“Ryan reminds us of how Kyle Curtin was when he first came here,” says Greg Smale, Lincs’ GM and Director of Hockey Operations. “He’s a really athletic goaltender who has a strong work ethic and compete level. We were pretty high on Ryan and we’re happy to have him.
“Ryan and Sean will come in and compete for the starting job.”
Andrus, meanwhile, attended Lincolns’ training camp last fall, and played in one exhibition game. The 6 ft., 2 inch, 195 lb. netminder spent last season with Kincardine Jr. ‘C’ Bulldogs. In 26 games with Kincardine, he had a 2.74 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage.
Smale said he’s pleased that the Lincs have their two goaltenders locked up well before the start of the upcoming season.
“We feel that we have two good prospects, but they have to put the work in and show that they can play at this level,” he said. “We’re very confident that they’re going to develop into two pretty good goaltenders for us.”
Defenceman moving on
In other Lincolns news, defenceman Max Mulder will be wearing a different uniform this coming season.
Mulder, a 19-year-old Stratford native, will play for Trenton Golden Hawks of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) in 2020-21. “I think they’re going to give him an opportunity,” Smale said. “It’s something he wants to do and you wish him all the best.”
The defensive-minded Mulder played just over a season and a half in St. Marys after being acquired from Listowel Cyclones in a 2018 trade. Last season, the big blueliner had two goals, 11 points and 34 penalty minutes in 46 games with the Lincs.
Junior hockey notebook:
–Last week, Strathroy Rockets announced that former NHLer Jason Williams, of London, has been hired as their new head coach. Williams won a Stanley Cup with Detroit Red Wings in 2001-02. He played pro for 16 years before retiring following the 2016-17 season.
Last season, Williams, 39, coached one of the best Minor Midget teams (Elgin-Middlesex ‘AAA’ Chiefs) in the province and won an Alliance championship. Jason Furlong, who was Rockets’ head coach the past two seasons, remains with the Strathroy team as assistant GM.
–Rockets, meanwhile, recently announced that goalie Josh Diamond and veteran defenceman Aidan Burns are returning for their fourth and final season.
–The LaSalle Jr. ‘B’ club recently announced that centre Jack Bowler is returning for his fifth GOJHL season with the team and his second as Vipers’ captain.