Edit: Saturday 23rd - added defence comments & rest of the Ages
Looks like more good news for the Tigers next season as John Dahlstrom has agreed to play for the Tigers. So it looks like both Euro's from the CHL Import Draft are both coming over. Scouting Reports say Dahlstrom has an uncanny ability to put the puck in the net.
Updated Depth Charts
Kirichenko 20 Schultz 19
Rubins 19 Quenneville 18
Heid 19 MacPherson 18
Bradley19 Owre20 Butcher 20
Gerlach18 Shaw18 Dahlstrom19
Rassall19 Fischer19 Jevne18
Chyzowski16 Preziuso17 Haden17
Gotta give props to the scouting department, as they have stocked the cupboards very well the past couple seasons. The Tigers look to have some pretty impressive depth, especially at forward. Of course you never like to trade guys that can make a whl team, but If I'm an opposition team looking to improve I'm keeping an eye on the Tigers forwards that fall down on their depth charts. Their could very well be whl calibre rookies not making the team because of the firepower up front. It should make for quite the battles in training camp.
This forward group has the makings & capability of a championship squad that will only get better as the season progresses. They have enough depth where guys like Rassall, and Fischer will be playing 3rd line minutes but could probably play on most teams 2nd lines. Last year the Tigers were in the middle of the pack in terms of scoring, and they didn't loose anyone. They gained another year of experience, and they gained a scoring import. They can score by committee, and I'm extremely excited about their potential for next season. They could very well sit near the top of the league in goal scoring. Their is potential for 8-9 guys to score 20+ goals.
The defense seems questionable on what their strength will look like. Their top end depth is unproven to playing 1st line minutes. We will have to wait and see what Rubins can bring to the back-end. I don't expect him to be a #1 guy, as he was projected as a good talent but wasn't drafted. (Similar to Platanov of last year). I could see the Tigers looking at acquiring a guy that could play first line minutes later at the deadline if they are in a position to make some noise. I think their defence could be anywhere from below average to above average.
WIll Quenneville improve to a point where he isn't a defensive concern against opponents top lines. Will schultz come into his own and prove he can play top line minutes. How will Kirichenko fare with stanton gone. Will Mcpherson step up and become someone you can't take out of the lineup. Forrest has excelled in pre-season, will he turn the corner and become a breakout player. Does Heid become steady eddy on the back-end. He was someone oft overlooked last season, but was decently sound in his own end. To be honest I'm not 100% sold that clouston is the odd man out for over-agers He brings a lot of intangibles to the lineup. He is big, tough, plays a simple solid game, and is very aggressive with no fear. Kirichenko might be able to bring a 2nd round pick in return. If that is the case do the Tigers deal him, knowing they could possibly be looking for a non overager later in the year? They would need his replacement to play first line minutes, however if Rubins can bring what clouston did last season, perhaps that changes things as well.
Schneider was very strong at the end of last season, and ended up with 9 games of AHL experience. The Tigers will boast a very strong #1, they will need to find a quality backup tender and get him some games so that next season the Tigers aren't going in with issues.
This team has some great potential for this season. The Central is up for grabs next year, their are no bona fida contenders. The Tigers have potential to make some noise with a very quick turnaround season.
Late Edit: I mispoke about bona fida contenders. Lethbridge looks to have a very solid team