We really don’t know who will be back or who will be gone.
The mystery surrounding the 2020-2021 Moncton Wildcats Training Camp Roster has many die hard fans and media alike second guessing their own projected rosters and perhaps the organizations intended direction.
It’s easy to take a look at the veterans that might possibly be returning to the fold, but for now we just don’t know.
We don’t know if all of the Cats high profile 20’s will be returning or not.
Honestly all of that really depends on the directives from their NHL teams.
One would assume that multiple scenarios involving those players would have to slightly handcuffed Ritchie Thibeau and his staff from making any definitive moves when it comes to the core leadership group of the organization.
For argument sake let’s just speculate that all of the NHL signed 20’s don’t come back.
That leaves Jacob Hudson, Tristan De Jong, Ryan MacLellan and Dakota Lund Cornish.
Hudson is a heart and soul player that some have penciled in to become the next Wildcats Captain.
I don’t have enough space or time to write all the positive attributes and characteristics of Jacob Hudson.
I will say this, Jacob Hudson is an outstanding young man and player that truly loves the game and is the perfect candidate to wear the “C.”
De Jong is arguably one of the best two-way defenders in the entire league. The former free agent definitely caught the eye of many NHL scouts a season ago. The sky is the limit for Tristan De Jong.
MacLellan came in as a depth defender on a very deep championship caliber team and had several solid outings for the Cats.
MacLellan’s speed, versatility and ability to play up and down the roster would have been critical for the Cats if the horrific COVID-19 hadn’t struck ending the season.
Lund-Cornish played very well for the Cats and looked extremely confident between the pipes.
The veteran netminder was more than ready to take over the reigns of anything would have happened to Rodrigue in the playoffs or if he faltered down the stretch.
The “what if” scenarios are too endless to tackle for the Wildcats and their overagers conundrum.
Throw a few NHL signed guys into that mix and you have some intense and very intriguing internal competition.
The Moncton Wildcats could really benefit from the CHL’s potential rule changed allowing a fourth overager.
Time will certainly tell the entire story on that front.
What other returnees will have an impact on the Cats roster this season?
Foreman saw his ice time dwindle near the end of the season as Dan Lacroix zeroed in on potential playoff line combinations.
Foreman is a solid two way presence and is a high character player that could solidify the Cats bottom six this season.
Stewart also saw his opportunities reduce as last season went on in 2019-2020.
Stewart is a heart and soul player, great teammate and will do just about anything it takes to help the team win.
Stewart is the first to step up and defends his teammates and is one of t he best fighters in the entire league.
The pride of Antigonish, Nova Scotia has all the makings of an alternate captain.
One could also see Stewart slide over to the wing position to provide a legitimate North-South crash and bang energy presence on the Cats bottom six this season.
Langlois is going to surprise a lot of people this season.
Langlois has sneaky good puck skills, great instincts for the game and an unwavering drive to compete.
We only saw glimpses of that last season given his role, but it’s clear that Langlois will definitely chip in more offensively this season for the Cats.
Daoust will be a dominant forces for the Wildcats this season.
There’s no question the former free agent will more than likely be the team’s first line center.
Daoust caught the attention of several NHL teams and will no doubt put up significant numbers this season.
Daoust is more than ready to play on both sides of the puck while facing all of the opponents top lines this season.
Daoust is one of the smartest players in the QMJHL and his ability to adapt to the pace of play a season ago was nothing short of brilliant.
There’s no question all eyes will be on the quiet humble kid from Barrie, Ontario.
Daoust will no doubt feel some added pressure being the Cats go to guy, but this ultra talented kid is more than ready for whatever comes his way.
Philippe Daoust is going places in the game.
Stewart will no doubt be one of the most sought after pieces at the trade deadline this season.
Yes that’s right, Ritchie Thibeau will have three of the biggest defensive assets for the 2021 QMJHL Trade Period.
Stewart was simply outstanding a season ago partnering with Axel Andersson.
Stewart is the perfect shut down guy for any championship contender willing to pay the price for a solid two-way steady and reliable presence on the backend.
Stewart will undoubtedly help a very young and talented defensive corps before he leaves the Hub for a run at a President Cup with a contender.
Save the best for last.
Jordan Spence is the best defenceman in the QMJHL and probably amongst the best in the nation.
Spence followed up a record breaking rookie campaign with an even more complete phenomenal sophomore season.
Spence ran the show for the Cats last season.
He was simply memorizing.
Spence will fetch a very hefty return for the Cats come the Trade Period.
Spence, like former Wildcat star Jakob Pelletier now of the Val d’Or Foreurs is the foundation for Wildcats rebuild.
Sit back and enjoy the show while it lasts because you won’t be seeing Spence in Wildcat colours after the Trade Period.
Things won’t be as bad as people think for the rebuilding Moncton Wildcats this season and I’m sure Thibeau and his staff have a few surprises up their sleeve when it perhaps comes to free agents and other Camp invitees.
Nevertheless, it might get a little thin after the Trade Period, but there’s tons of decisions and hockey to be played before any of that can happen.
The waiting game continues, but the Wildcat returnees will definitely have a massive impact on the organization moving forward.