Newly-named captain Zach Cugnet likes the balance of veterans and new talent on the roster of the Cochrane Generals.
"From what I've seen from our inter-squad game and practices so far, I think we've got a really good mix of super talented young guys and then a lot of veterans that can help them get adjusted across the league," says Cugnet.
"I think we have five lines of forwards that can play, seven D that can play, and three goalies that can play, so I'm really excited. I think it's just going to be shaking off the rust and getting rid of the nerves in our first game here, and hopefully, we get off to a good start and get back into the season."
The Gens did get their first 'W' last night (Oct. 30) on the road against the Lomond Lakers and aim to make it two straight when they host the Lakers on Nov. 1.
Due to a nagging injury, Cugnet wasn't in the lineup for the opening game, but he did hit the road with the team.
"We're making sure if I go out I'm not going to hurt it and be out long-term. For now, I'm not able to play at 100 per cent, and we've got guys that can, so they should be on the ice."
Cugnet, 21, is in his fourth and final season with Gens as a blueliner. Including playoffs, he's made 138 appearances in the red and blue. He came to the Gens from the U18 AA Bow Valley Timberwolves and played his minor hockey here.
Being his final season in juniors, Cugnet wants to get the most out of every game.
"Especially with the way last year ended, and it being my last year, you definitely don't want to take even a single game for granted. Like we saw last year with COVID, or even now with injuries, you never know when you could be done. I'm going in with the mindset of enjoying every game so you don't regret anything when you're done."
Jordan Marks and Patrick Forde are alternate captains. They're joined by home alternate Caiden Chudleigh and away alternate Carter Cugnet.
After leading the team for several years, former captain Brandon Aab aged out at the end of the 2019-20 season that abruptly ended in the midst of a tight south division championship series against the Okotoks Bisons.
The puck drops Sunday at 3:15 p.m. for the Gens home opener at the Cochrane Arena.
A COVID-19 rule that allows a maximum of only 100 spectators has been reinstituted.
For information on tickets click here.