The Fort Frances Lakers will have to appoint a new captain this season.
The Lakers announced last Thursday that Nick Lucas has committed to St. John's University in Minnesota where he will play Division III hockey for the Johnnies this season.
“We are very happy for Nick. He was a leader for us the past two years and a great player for our program,” Lakers' head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan lauded of the Cottage Grove, Mn. native.
“He is a smart person and will excel well in his academics and on the ice. We wish him the best in his future endeavours.”
Lucas, 21, suited up in 97 games across two seasons in Fort Frances, where he was a near point-per-game player in registering 35 goals and 58 assists.
He then added nine helpers in 12 career playoff games.
Lucas was named Lakers' captain at the beginning of last season, where he took home his second straight SIJHL Most Sportsmanlike Player Award.
In 44 regular-season games last season, he amassed a career single season-high 48 points while incurring only five minor penalties—just three of which occurred after Oct. 1.
It also marked the fourth-straight year that a Fort Frances player has garnered the accolade and was the seventh time someone from a Fort Frances-based franchise has earned most sportsmanlike player honours in the 18-year history of the SIJHL.
In other team news, the Lakers' annual training camp is running this week at the Memorial Sports Centre.
The camp kicked off Monday and continued yesterday with on-ice drills.
On-ice training started at 7 a.m. today followed by off-ice training at 4 p.m.
The camp then will wrap up tomorrow with some more on-ice training at 7 a.m. followed by coaches' meetings with the players at 8:45.
The Lakers will kick off their four-game pre-season schedule on Friday with the opener of a home-and-home series with the Dryden GM Ice Dogs at 7 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Fort Frances then will head to Dryden the following night to complete the set at 7:30 p.m.
Wrapping up the pre-season slate is another home-and-home series that will see Fort Frances and the Red Lake Miners squaring off at Cochenour Arena on Wednesday, Sept. 11 before concluding the exhibition season on Friday, Sept. 13 here.
Both games will start at 7 p.m.