Lincolns sign two more players for 2022-23 season

GOJHL team also announces new assistant GM, head trainer and equipment manager

By Pat Payton

Greg Smale continues to build the St. Marys Lincolns’ 2022-23 roster.

The Lincs’ Director of Hockey Operations/GM recently announced that he has signed two more players for the next GOJHL season.

Smale is very pleased to have Jaden Lee’s name on a card. The right winger was obtained in a straight cash deal. Last season, Lee had 13 goals, 31 points and 32 penalty minutes in 52 games with Brantford 99ers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). He finished tied for second in team scoring.

The 18-year-old from Milton, who is listed at 5 ft., 10 inches and 170 lbs., is enrolling at Western University in London in the fall.

“Jaden’s a good player who’s already played a year of Junior hockey in the OJHL,” the GM noted. “He was second on his team in points and that’s nothing to scoff at. He’s going to Western as an 18-year-old, that’s potentially three years playing in St. Marys, so we’re really excited to have him.”

The other new player is forward Luca Spagnolo, also an 18-year-old from Milton. Spagnolo, who is listed at 5 ft., 8 inches and 150 lbs., had 11 goals and 24 points in 18 games last season with the Burlington Eagles U18 ‘AAA’ team. He added eight points (1-7) in six playoff games.

Spagnolo also played one game for the Fort Erie Jr. ‘B’ Meteors as an affiliate skater and clicked for a goal and an assist.

“Luca is a really good young prospect,” Smale said. “He led his Burlington team in scoring as a U18 player, and he’s going to Western as well.”

The GM said Lee and Spagnolo attracted lots of interest from other Junior teams as well.

“Jaden and Luca are players who are going to help us now, but also help us down the road in the future,” he said. “There was a lot of interest in the area, with them going to school at Western, so we’re happy to have won the sweepstakes and have them on our team.”

New assistant GM hired

Lincolns also announced three staff changes. The new Assistant General Manager is Jeff Roy, a London resident and long-time ‘AAA’ coach. Roy replaces Mike Glover, who recently stepped down after two seasons with the team.

“Jeff has coached Elgin-Middlesex teams for multiple years; he’s a really smart hockey guy,” Smale said. “I really mesh well with him on his hockey philosophies and ideas, and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

The GM interviewed three candidates for the position. Interviews were held in the last couple of weeks.

Smale also announced that the Lincs have hired a new head trainer and new equipment manager.

The new trainer is Kaitlyn Monkhouse, who was an Athletic Therapist last season with Hamilton Kilty B’s of the Golden Horseshoe Conference. She will be attending Fanshawe College in London. Monkhouse replaces Darren Smale, who left the team following the 2021-22 season to pursue other opportunities. Smale was with the Lincolns since the 2019-20 season.

Tyler Scott, of Exeter, is the new equipment manager. Scott spent the past three seasons with the London Nationals and the previous two years with the Exeter Jr. ‘C’ Hawks..

The Lincs, meanwhile, have been holding weekly summer skates at the Stratford Rotary Complex for returning players and prospects. “About 30” players have been participating in the weekly skates.

Six-team tournament in Ayr

In other GOJHL news, the Ayr Centennials, of the Midwestern Conference, are hosting a six-team Junior International tournament – featuring teams from three countries, Aug. 27-31. It’s called the Ayr Mutual Global Invitational.

The teams competing are: Mannheim, Germany, the Carleton Place Jr. ‘A’ Canadians, the Jr. Bruins from the Boston area, the Kitchener-Waterloo Siskins, the St. Andrews College Saints from Aurora, and the host Centennials.

The Jr. Bruins are based in Marlborough, Mass. and teams in their organization play in the U.S. Premier Hockey League.