Photo Credit:Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
Before the season started, the Northeast Generals made a trade with the Odessa Jackalopes to get a player that plays the gritty game Bryan Erikson, their Head Coach, loves. That player is Joe Schubert who has been an indispensable leader on the ice for the team this year and part of the reason why the Generals are in a playoff race.
To get their group to the next level, General Manager Matt Dibble went back to the Jackalopes with a big proposal. The team got veteran defender, Evan Orr and the same second round pick they used to trade for Schubert in return for a tender for the 2022-2023 season and cash considerations.
Dibble and Erikson have seen a lot of the Michigan Tech commit who is on his last season of junior hockey. As Dibble said “ We gave up substantial assets to acquire Evan Orr. At this point in the season, we are happy with our group and any moves we make will be substantial. We believe Evan will come in here and be a veteran presence right away. This is a trade to help us win now. He is a smooth skating defenseman with a lot of experience in the league including in the east division. He has been a captain at this level and is committed to school, we have big expectations for him to hit the ground running and be a big part of this thing as we make a push for the Robertson Cup. We feel like this is a significant addition to the team and we expect to see continued growth from our younger guys (Despirt, Cooper, and Wites). Cooper is a kid who has not even touched his ceiling so having a guy like Evan to learn from will be big for his development.”
Erikson added “ Evan is an outstanding Defenseman and person. He has around 175 Junior games played including in the East Division when he was with Wilkes-Barre. Matt Dibble and I have seen him a ton and felt that this group really needed some veteran stability on the blueline. Evan is an all situations D man. He plays PP, PK, 5 on 5 and does them all well. We aren’t looking to make a ton of moves as we like our core group but when the opportunity came to add a player of Evan’s caliber Matt jumped on it. Really excited to add Evan to the group we have as we make a run in the 2nd half.”
Now this group has a stalwart veteran to mentor the offensive defenders Dibble talked about, and push this team forward to clinch a playoff spot. For the Generals, if they can buttress their offensive skill from their defense group with a responsible defender like Orr, combined with the growth of their goaltending and top forwards then the possibilities for this group only grow. Last year Dibble came in and made moves to set up this team. Now Dibble is adding pieces to compliment it and prepare its younger players for the future and to help them grow.
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