(20-year-old defenseman Derek Wasylyshen will head to University this season, rather than finish off his Junior 'A' career in Melville)
A team that looks pretty promising on paper will be down two 20-year-old defenseman before they even start.
Melville Millionaires' Head Coach/GM Jamie Fiesel says Winnipeg product Derek Wasylyshen, after a one and a half seasons in Melville, will start his post secondary schooling this fall, instead of completing his Junior eligibility with the Millionaires.
"It's disappointing but we have to respect his decision. He fought with it all summer long, and then a couple weeks ago called me and said, 'Feez, I'm going to school.' It's a loss for us for sure, I was really happy with our group of vets and still am. It opens up another opportunity for a defenseman to make our hockey club. Tyson Newell might go back to defense after finishing last season at forward, and we do have a couple of young guys we're pretty excited about, depending what happens with them in the WHL."
Fiesel's also known for a while now, that they won't be seeing fellow 20-year-old defenseman Klay Kachur. Kachur was acquired from the BCHL's Powell River Kings, in exchange for 18-year-old Jordan Paddock. Paddock was sent to BC due to family reasons (his family moved to B.C. because of work). But Kachur, a product of Lanigan, SK, requested a trade back to B.C., despite the Mils' brand new rink being located roughly two hours from his hometown.
"He's going to have to wait to be honest. I have to see what we need, which looks like a defenseman now. If someone wants to step up and give me a 3-4 defenseman, then I'll make a trade. If not, we'll wait. My responsibility is the Melville Millionaires, we think we have a good, returning group of guys, so it'll have to be someone who can play for us. It's an unfortunate decision by Klay, but one he'll have to live with and one we have to deal with."
Despite the two overagers choosing not to report to Melville for 2011/2012, the Mils still have a good number of returnees on the backend.
(91) Lee Christensen
(91) Tyson Newell
(91) Bob Pond
(92) Tyler Bird
(92) Jared Williamson
(94) Devan Fafard (WHL-Sasaktoon)
(94) Jeff Hubic (WHL- Kootenay)
The Millionaires, and the Yorkton Terriers open up Main Camp on Friday, September 2nd.