Lincs building strong forward group for 2020-21 season
By Pat Payton
St. Marys Lincolns Director of Hockey Operations/GM Greg Smale reports that 19-year-old twins Josh and Cyrus Martin have been traded to the Kitchener-Waterloo Siskins in separate deals.
The Martins, who hail from Elmira, are both starting post-secondary studies in the K-W area in the fall.
Josh, a forward, spent two seasons with the Lincs. Last year, Martin had five goals and eight points in 32 games. He missed a good chunk of the season due to injury. He has enrolled at the University of Guelph.
In return, Lincolns get forward Ty Anselmini from the Siskins, who are members of the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference. The 17-year-old Anselmini had eight goals, 22 points and 106 penalty minutes in 48 games with Waterloo last season.
Anselmini, who lives in the Guelph area, was a third-round draft pick of the OHL’s London Knights in 2019. He is listed at 5 ft., 10 inches and 180 lbs. “Anselmini has a chance to make the Knights’ roster this season, but if he doesn’t he will be with us,” Smale said.
Lincs received cash from the Siskins in exchange for Cy Martin, a goaltender. He will begin studies at Conestoga College.
Martin joined the Lincolns last November from the Rockland Nationals, a Provincial Tier II Jr. ‘A’ team in the Ottawa area. In 12 games with the Lincs, he posted a 7-3-1 record with a 3.31 goals-against average.
Several veterans returning
In other team news, Lincolns have signed veteran forward Justin McIntyre. The 20-year-old Lucan native will be starting his third season in St. Marys when the GOJHL gets the green light to start the 2020-21 campaign.
Last season, McIntyre had eight goals, 31 points and 54 penalty minutes in 49 games.
Smale notes that forwards Jacob Bloomfield and Kyle Kuznik and defencemen Jordan Daer and Brennan Long have all “committed to returning” to the Lincolns, but their names aren’t on cards at the present time.
“We’re still actively recruiting; we’re doing interviews with kids,” the GM continued. “We’re also watching where other kids are signing, and who might be available via trade. I’ve got a few other trades in the works that I’m trying to get done.
“We’re just trying to do what we can in the new hockey landscape that we’re dealing with these days. They’re telling us to build our teams like we normally would, and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
Strong forward group emerging
Smale, meanwhile, is very excited about the “forward group” the Lincs are currently building.
“I think with kids like (Owen) Van Steensel, (Jack) Piper, (Cole) Schnittker, (Eric) Smith and (Kevin) Perrott, to go along with McIntyre, Kuznik, Bloomfield and Diego Sabino, it gives us good depth up front,” he says.
“I look back at last year’s team, and we had a lot of guys putting up points and we played four lines. Our forward group is looking the same way, so I think we’re going to be dangerous again with some good, young offensive players. We also have some really hard-working players.
“I think our depth will be a concern to other teams throughout the league. I don’t think other teams can boast about as much depth as what we have. That’s exciting for us.”
The GM also noted that Lincolns’ 30-win season, a third-place finish and gaining a berth in the Western Conference semi-finals in 2019-20 have certainly helped their recruiting efforts.
“We wouldn’t have gotten Van Steensel, Piper and Anselmini, top picks in the OHL, if we had finished eighth or ninth in our league,” he said. “The rebuild this time around is attracting better players. Where we finished last spring, it has definitely helped us with recruitment.”
Junior hockey notes:
–Former Lincolns’ forward Quinton Pepper is apparently heading to Manitoba to play Tier II Jr. ‘A’ in that province. Last season, Pepper was dealt along with Ethan Lamoureux to St. Thomas Stars at the Jan. 10 deadline.
–In GOJHL news, Brampton Bombers of the Midwestern loop have moved to Caledon (about 60 k.m. north of Toronto) and will be called the Caledon Bombers next season.
–Former Lincs’ forward Mark Mancari (2000-01) has been hired as an assistant coach by the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. The 34-year-old London resident was an assistant coach with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs this past season.
After playing one season in St. Marys as a 15-year-old, Mancari was drafted by Ottawa and played four seasons with the OHL 67s. He was a seven-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in the 2004 NHL entry draft.
The big winger went on to play 14 pro seasons, including 42 NHL games with Buffalo and Vancouver Canucks, before retiring in 2019. He played his final four seasons in Germany after spending most of his pro career in the American League.