By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
For a couple Oshawa Generals, starting the year at NHL training camp has jump-started their seasons in the OHL.
In total, four Generals were off at training camp to start the year, including Riley Stillman with the Florida Panthers, defenceman Mitch Vande Sompel with the New York Islanders, captain Anthony Cirelli with the Tampa Bay Lightning and undrafted goaltender Jeremy Brodeur, who was on an amateur tryout contract for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
For head coach Bob Jones, there was a noticeable change to his starting goaltender when he returned.
“You could see his demeanour was different. His habits during the game are a lot stronger,” Jones said. “I think Brody going to another pro camp has really changed him and made him a better goalie.”
Following his tenure in Ohio, Brodeur is 3-1 to start the season with a 0.893 save percentage.
Along with Brodeur, captain Cirelli also says he gained a lot from his experiece with Tampa, the team that drafted in the third round, 72nd overall in 2015.
“It was a great experience. Tampa is a first class organization,” he says.
“Just being there and looking at the NHL guys, (Tyler) Johnson, (Alexander) Killorn, and just seeing what they do before and after games, how they perform. It’s just good to look up to them and trying to bring it here back to Oshawa.”
Currently, Cirelli leads the team with four goals to go along with his trio of assists in four games so far this season.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Generals took a 6-0 thrashing on the road against the Erie Otters before returning home on Oct. 9 to beat the Barrie Colts 4-2 at the General Motors Centre.