The Ontario Hockey League is back in business and the Kingston Frontenacs can’t wait for the drop of the puck.
“It’s a privilege to be back playing,” said Frontenacs head coach Luca Caputi.
Caputi was promoted to the head coaching job when Paul McFarland left the team this summer to join the NHL’s Seattle Kraken.
“The boys understand what a privilege it is to back on the ice,” said Caputi, who scored 51 goals in the OHL with the Niagara IceDogs in 2007-08.
“There will be a lot of energy and a lot of emotion tomorrow night. The guys are really excited to be back playing in front of the Kingston fans.”
With COVID-19 protocols in place, the Frontenacs are limited to 2,800 fans in the building. That’s 50 per cent capacity.
As mentioned, the team is ranked No. 1 in the OHL heading into the season and there’s a good reason why.
Kingston is led by 17-year-old Shane Wright, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NHL draft.
Coach Caputi says Wright may be the face of the Frontenacs but general manager Kory Cooper has surrounded him with an abundance of talent.
“Up front we’ve got Jordan Frasca, Lucas Edmonds, Francesco Arcuri and Martin Chromiak to go along with rookies Paul Ludwinski and Matthew Soto,” Caputi said.
“On defence, we’re led by the likes of Jake Murray, Lucas Peric and Braden Hache, a draft of the Florida Panthers. I really like the makeup of this team and our goaltending is solid as well with Ryan Dugas and newcomer Leevi Merilainen from Finland.”
Caputi says the pre-season ranking is flattering but it’s something the team pays little attention to.
“It means nothing to us,” says the first-year head coach from Toronto.
“What matters is what we do on a daily basis and that’s pushing each other to be better. Our goal is to win every game we play and put a product on the ice that makes Kingston proud.”