Hockey: A few Nuggets about Nip U

Nip U men's hockey coach Mike McParland is getting ready for the Lakers debut in the OUA next season.

OUA teams cannot approach major junior players until Dec. 1, so who knows if anyone who's attended the Lakers' first on-ice sessions will end up on the team next September. Some quick HockeyDB'ing reveals most of the prospective players mentioned in a newspaper article Saturday played provincial Junior A. One such future Laker, Mike Lathem, who previously played in the NJCAA (don't knock it, the Anaheim Ducks' Dustin Penner played there!) has a neat quote on his scouting video:
"I've always played drums, so I've got really strong hands. I've played drums for about eight years and getting that snap, getting it off quick, has been key to my shot."
Great, now minor hockey parents will have to start buying little Taylor a drum kit, just to work on that snap shot.

There is skepticism about how competitive Nipissing will be right off the hop. Carleton played exhibition games for two seasons and the Blackbirds are 6-2-1 in their second full seasons. Ontario Tech, 2-6-1 so far under former University Cup-winning coach Marlin Muylaert, also played an exhibition slate. Both those teams also come from major population centres (Ottawa-Outaouais and the GTA), while Nipissing is in North Bay. It's an uphill battle.

Nipissing 'planting seeds' for OUA launch (Ken Pagan, North Bay Nugget)
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