The General Manager of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan is excited about the new-look roster.
“I feel very good about our new roster. I really like our depth at every position and our skills. We expect to have a challenging team; the key will be to outwork every team we play against and let the skills take over,” said Sylvain Couturier. “Without the grit and the hard work, we won’t be able to reach our goals, so I expect our team to be a hard-working team.”
Over the Christmas break Couturier pulled the trigger on key trades to acquire star forwards Felix Lafrance, and Thomas Belgarde from Chicoutimi and defenceman Miguel Tourigny from the Armada. Lafrance is the top-ranked skater in the league (50 points and ranked second in goals and fifth overall in assists) and Tourigny is the top offensive defenceman (ranked 11th with his 40 points).
Various draft picks in the next few drafts were moved to bring the trio on board. Last month also saw defencemen Jaxon Bellamy sent to Moncton, Lane Hinkley to Drummondville and forward David Doucet is now with Val-d’Or. The trade period also saw talented blue-liners Riley Pitt and Ty Higgins sign with Acadie-Bathurst, both of whom are joining the major junior ranks from their respective Ontario-based leagues.
With the trade period now over the Titan have 15 forwards, eight defencemen and two netminders in Jan Bednar and Chad Arsenault.
Overall, the Titan roster features five NHL drafted players with Bednar (Detroit), Hendrix Lapierre (Washington), Riley Kidney (Montreal), Jacob Melanson (Seattle) and Cole Huckins (Calgary), all of whom participated in their respective professional camps this summer. Bennett MacArthur, Zach Biggar, Cole Larkin, and Ben Allison were also invited to NHL camps before the puck dropped on the 2021-22 regular season.
Acadie-Bathurst will resume the second half of the season in the ninth spot of the 18-team league, with a 15-11-1-2 record for 33 points in 29 games and ranked fourth overall in the Maritimes Division.
Leading them into the second half is Captain Logan Chisholm, who is in his fifth and final season with the Titan and who has won both a President and Memorial Cup with the team in 2018.
Chisholm says he’s excited to get back to Bathurst. “And get back to work with the rest of the guys. We made a couple big pick-ups getting Lafrance, Belgarde and Tourigny. They’re going to be key players for us and look forward to playing with them,” said Chisholm. “It’s going to be an exciting few months for this team, we have high expectations out of this group.”