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The Oakville Blades are back for 2023/24

Lukas Bernasiewicz
Lukas Bernasiewicz

The Oakville Blades begin their journey to the Centennial Cup on Friday, September 8, with their first regular season game on the road against the Burlington Cougars.

Important is an understatement regarding the severity of this season for the club. This year, expectations are sky high as the team will be hosting the Centennial Cup in the spring of 2024 and have an automatic buy into the all-important tournament.

That means a season like last year's is unacceptable for a team looking to assert themselves as a top program in Canada.

Through this transitional period, the Blades' off-season included some significant departures to their lineup.

Last season's top point-scoring forward, Matthew Wang, committed to play with the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League and top defenceman and co-captain Andrew Brown has committed to playing with the Nanaimo Clippers of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Those significant departures will indeed affect this Blades team, but those were the only two major point producers that the Blades will be losing this season.

Other big contributors like Jacob Crisp, Aidan Taylor, Luke Johnston, Aidan Russel, and goaltender Gavin McCarthy will return for the 2023-24 season.

The return of these players is crucial to the Blades' potential success since this group already has familiarity with one another and knows how to play with each other.

Oakville also made more additions to their roster due to the team losing Wang and Brown.

The team added:

  • 2003-born forward Sean Clarke from the Collingwood Blues of the OJHL
  • 2003-born forward Silas Crawford from the Elliot Lake Red Wings of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League
  • 2003-born players Jeriah Shantz and Eric Bonsteel from the Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL
  • 2005-born forward Kaleb Frank from the Brantford 99ers of the OJHL

With these new additions and the players from last year returning for another season with the club, this Oakville Blades team looks highly competitive and looks like they could do some damage in the OJHL and the Centennial Cup.

The team has one clear goal: to be the best, but Head Coach Scott McCrory is determined not just to have this team be competitive but to make this team a team that the town can be proud of.