Flyers Sign 16 out of Showcase Camp Published on 7/25/2012 10:47:00 AM
Things are heating up in Valencia and it has nothing to do with the triple-digit heat in the area, as the Valencia Flyers have announced 16 player signings, as Head Coach Jocelyn Langlois looks to build upon a very successful 2011-2012 campaign.
The 16 signings (nine returners, seven newcomers) come just after the conclusion of the Flyers’ Inaugural Showcase Camp, in which players from all over the globe converged in Valencia to showcase their skills in front of junior and college hockey scouts from some of the top programs in the United States.
Kicking off a big list of returners is goaltender Stephen Palmer, who led the Western States Hockey League in games played last season with 37. Palmer also posted a sparkling .908 save percentage in his second full season with the club.
A solid core of defensemen also return, highlighted by rugged veteran Jake Ryan, who is known as one of the most physical defensemen in the WSHL. Joining Ryan are veterans Preston Nowak, Dillon Thomas and Lance Pennington, all of whom played in over 25 games last season.
Up front the Flyers look as though they’ll have little problem scoring goals, as returning to the team is rookie sensation Austin Ehrlich, who led the entire league in rookie goal scoring last season. Also returning are Josh Escoe, Greg Heimann and Jordan Spesak, who add some much-needed grit to the lineup.
Some new faces will also don a Flyers jersey come September, as goaltenders Jesper Sannerborg of Sweden and local kid Mark Becica will push Palmer for playing time in net.
Sannerborg is a big, agile goaltender who models his game after fellow countrymen Henrik Lundqvist. Becica is still very young but turned heads with his steady play at last weekend’s camp.
Adding to an already rock-steady backend is puck-moving Russian Nikita Morozov and another rough and tumble type guy, Bakersfield-native Zach Endicott.
Possibly the biggest pick-up of the entire weekend is Russian forward Kevin Antipov; a physical specimen who can skate, shoot and score consistently. Put the big Russian on a line with Ehrlich and opposing goaltenders will take notice.
Another import forward, Jacob Larsen of Sweden will bring his quick hands to the lineup as well and lastly, Kory Medeiros has also signed on, after playing for Langlois’ 16AAA California Heat team last season. He’s not very big but is always in the right spot and is constantly after the puck.
In all, Langlois and the Flyers are more than happy with what they currently have and they’re still over a month from Main Camp, which is scheduled to run from August 24-26 at Ice Station Valencia.