The Florida Eels Look to a Combination of Experience Veterans and Youth to Secure the Blueline for the 2018-19 Season
The Florida Eels Coaching staff took great pains over the Spring and Summer recruiting period to find the right players and ingredients in building its defensive core for its Premier and Elite teams for the upcoming 2018-19 season. They attended and scouted over 10 showcases across the USA and Canada. They had scouts across North America and Europe. They fielded over 5 prospect teams at various showcases testing players skills and character. It is a far cry from traditional tryouts it is meticulous process how the Eels recruit and sign players.
The Eels have always had very strong defensemen in its organization. In fact, GM Scarpaci notes, “ we have enjoyed 3 NHL Draft picks who were defensemen. Additionally, we had several NCAA Div. I Alumni who were defensemen for the Eels. Moreover, with the advancement of 18 players over all this past Spring, the Eels coaching and scouting staff had some huge skates to fill. One of the primary jobs was to bring in replacements on defense for our college bound guys: Brian Kozek, Alec Parr, Rajhan Munnings, JonasHostovecky, Sean Doyle and Bryce Freel”
This season GM Scarpaci believes he accomplished that task commenting that he has several players who will be amongst the top D- Men in the league: For example, the Eels are returning Premier veteran defensemen Jean-PhilippeMontmarquette. JP is one of the top 2 way defensemen in the league. The best when it comes to special teams as well. Then there is top Kazakhstan veteran defensemen YanKalinovskiy. This guy at 6’2’ 220 lbs. is completely dominating. He is a pro type player. He simply owns the defensive zone. He has no question the hardest shot on the ice. A consummate scoring threat. Additionally, there is international All-Star Defensemen from Sweden: veteran Defensemen Lukas Aaw. This kid has explosive speed and is so good in all 3 zones as well. Then there is the top Slovakian veteran defensemen Filip Škorec. He is a National team candidate in his Nation. He is fast smart and makes it all look so easy. This is an extremely high-end player. Just joining the Eels is Russian and USPHL veteran defensemen GeorgySamodelkinwho was phenomenal last season for Kalkaska. Another high-end impact player. From the Eels program, there is top Eels veteran defensemen Jaymen Swygertand GageMcNeish,both from the same home town in South Carolina. Not yet done the Eels continue with top rookies’ Ukrainian defensemen PavelTimochko,and top USA young prospect from Iowa – Nicholas Tigges. Concluding our defensive fortress is top veteran defensemen who played in Canada last seasonIan Friz.
All of these guys are very legit and will be solid in all 3 zones. They bring so much individually and as a team to the ice, the locker room and the Eels program. The Eels know full well that in order to build a winner you need to build your program from the back end first. Here the Eels have set their entire program on solid footing. The foundation has been laid and with this group it is believe they have an impenetrable unit.