• By: Neil Becker

67’s coach David Cameron Excited About Regular Season

By Neil Becker

Following an intense, fast-paced training camp, the Ottawa 67’s are feeling confident about the upcoming season.

Coming off a season that saw them finish seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 28- 31-2-7 record, the 67’s, who last spring were swept in the opening round by the North Bay Battalion, recently wrapped up their pre-season exhibition schedule with a 2-3 record.

Ottawa coach David Cameron was pretty excited about not only what he saw in training camp but the upcoming Friday, September 30th season opener, which gets underway with a 7:35 p.m. opening face-off at the Tribute Communities Centre against the Oshawa Generals.

A couple of days later, on Sunday, October 2nd, the 67’s will be back in Ottawa for their much-anticipated home opener at TD Place, which has a 2 p.m. opening face-off against the Erie Otters.

“I’m excited about playing actual games,” Cameron said. “Every game is a challenge. It’s great that we’re going to be playing real games.”

In terms of his overall impression from what he’s witnessed in training camp, Cameron stated,

“I like the work ethic that I’m seeing. There is a lot of skill.”

Heading into this season, the 67’s will have six rookies on the team, including their 2022 first-round picks, 16-year-old defenceman Henry Mews, who was chosen 7th overall, and another 16-year-old defenceman in Frank Marrelli, who Ottawa selected 21st overall.

“He’s (Mews) competitive and has great hockey I.Q.,” Cameron said.

“He sees the ice really well. His challenge will be getting used to the speed and physicality of the league. He’s so competitive and smart and will make the adjustments.”

When asked about Marrelli, Cameron also couldn’t say enough good things.

“Frank is a real good competitive kid. He sees the ice well. I’m really excited to have both Frank and Henry.”

The coach went on to add, “Frankie, like Henry will need a period to adjust.”

Mews, who is known for his offensive abilities, will definitely be an asset as he scored 14 goals and 78 points last year for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens U16 AAA team.

Meanwhile, Marrelli, also processes some offensive flair, as shown by the 12 goals and 35 points he scored in 26 games played with the Markham Waxers U16 AAA team.

In terms of how much ice-time these two first-rounders will get, Cameron stated, “Their play will dictate that.”

Last season, a big issue was offence as the 67’s finished last in offence with 199 goals scored. This is something that, going into the new season, Cameron isn’t worried about.

“It’s (offence) a work in progress,” Cameron said. “I expect an increase in goals for. Tyler (Boucher) and Jack (Beck) are a year older and healthy.”

Beck, who was a 2019 Ontario Hockey League second pick of the 67’s, is coming off an injury-riddled season. Still, despite playing only 36 games, Beck finish second in team scoring with 22 goals and 44 points. He finished four points behind Vinzenz Rohrer, who totalled 25 goals and 48 points.

This left winger, who was drafted in 2021 in the sixth round by the Calgary Flames, will also be looked upon to provide veteran leadership. In fact, the 67’s have an impressive veteran core that includes the likes of Cameron Tolnai (entering his fourth year), Brady Stonehouse (drafted by Ottawa second round, 26th overall in the 2020 OHL draft), and Vincent Rohrer, who was selected 27th overall in the 2021 CHL Import Draft.

“I stress to be ready every game,” Cameron said. “Every game, to trust the process and work hard.”

On Thursday, September 29th, the 67’s made a trade as they dealt 18-year-old defenceman Teddy Sawyer to the Owen Sound Attack in exchange for a 2025 third-round pick in the OHL Priority Selection along with a second-round pick in 2026.

Last season Sawyer played in 56 games for Ottawa, where he scored 3 goals along with 11 points and 62 penalty minutes.

Photo: ottawa67s.com