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Monday, June 10, 2013

Michigan Warriors Off-Season Update

By: Joey Battaino

The NAHL draft is complete, the tender list is filled, and it is almost time for main camp at Flint's Iceland Arena. Yes, another season of Warriors hockey is drawing near. After last seasons disappointing finish, the Warriors look to have the roster that could return them to their glory days of 2010-11.

Lets start with an injury update on Zack Szajner. I exchanged text messages with Szajner about a week ago. He had just taken his first skate since he tore a muscle in his groin on March 15th in Janesville. All signs point to Szajner being ready for camp on July 16th.

Warriors draft pick D David Hopfer (94) is participating in Muskegon's open camp, this week. Making that team could be a blessing for Hopfer, as the Warriors are set to return all seven defenseman from last season. However, defensive depth is not something the Warriors have had in the past two seasons. The coaching staff is very high on Hopfer and will certainly give him playing time, if he earns it.

The one guy that I can't wait to see play is Scott Cuthrell. Sure, the numbers are gaudy (88 points in 46 games last season in Cleveland) but the question that everyone wants to know is will he be able to have that same success at the tier II level? Most tier III players don't, however I don't think the Warriors coaches are banking on 50+ points from Cuthrell this season. Returners like Colin Larkin, Connor Lyons, and Zack Szajner will help carry the scoring load along with a maturing A.J Marcinek, and a healthy Brad Pizzey.

I'll have updates for you throughout the off-season. Thanks for reading!

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