While the 2021-2022 season didn’t finish as the London Knights planned when they first took the ice back in October 2021, they opened the season challenging for the longest winning streak in OHL. The Knights were defending the Budweiser gardens like a bunch of noblemen protecting the castle
Unfortunately for the boys in green, injuries and Team Canada call-ups began to have an impact on the roster, and within months what seemed to be a group of players destined to be in the OHL finals found themselves staying afloat in the waters of mediocrity.
A strong second half to the season as well as the return of starting goalie Brett Brochu, and controversial defensemen Logan Mailloux, helped propel the Knights back into the playoff picture and were clicking on all fronts with only weeks left in the season.
In the first round London had home-ice advantage over highway 401 rival the Kitchener Rangers but unfortunately couldn’t come out the victor as the Rangers broke down the Knights’ armour and put the finishing touches on the series in a tough game 7 overtime.
In the cloudiness of a first-round exit shines the light of hope and prosperity. With the new season finally upon us let’s take a look at how this year’s team stacks.
With notable players no longer with the team such as 30-goal-getters Luke Evangelista and Antonio Stranges. The Knights have made big off-season steps acquiring tons of depth and highly touted rookies such as defenceman Sam Dickinson, (a 2022 fourth overall IceDogs draft pick that London traded seven future picks to get) Luca Testa, and Russian forward Abakar Kazbekov who looks to grow off his nine-game stint with the club last year.
While losing key goal scorers is hard to make up for, the Knights’ backend is under top-level lockdown from world juniors call-up Brett Brochu. In a season that saw the team go through a goalie carrousel, Brochu put up a .911 in 43 games and is hoping to continue his stretch of dominance working the cage.
Although the road in front of the team is a little bumpy and the waters a tad murky, The Knights have a tested goalie and a ton of potential upfront making them a fun team to keep an eye on.
London opened their season last Friday with a 5-3 loss at home against the Owen Sound Attack. Oliver Bonk, Bryce Montgomery, and Easton Cowan were the three goal-scorers for the Knights, and the team will be looking to pick up their first win of the season tonight at home against the Soo Greyhounds at 7 PM EDT.
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