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Solar Bears Den: Let’s Go Camping!

Training camp is officially open for business!

Fernando Medina/Orlando Solar Bears

Preparations for the 2021-22 ECHL season have officially begun in Central Florida.

On Friday, the Orlando Solar Bears took the ice for their first official practice of training camp...and got a nice welcome back from their junior counterparts.

The team took to the ice with a total of 10 forwards, 4 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders:

Forwards: Tyler Bird, Nick Bligh, Luke Boka, Dylan Fitze, Jackson Keane, Conor Landrigan, Tristin Langan, Ian Parker, Zach Remers, Fabrizio Ricci

Defensemen: Braydon Barker, Michael Brodzinski, Chad Duchesne, Luke McInnis

Goaltenders: Clint Windsor, Ryan Novalis

Of this list, 7 have appeared in at least one Solar Bears game, while 7 others are considered rookies. A few roster notes:

Langan became the latest from last year’s squad to return, signing on Thursday. Last season, he appeared in all 72 games, putting up a career-best 63 points (28 goals, 35 assists). He finished in the top 10 among all ECHL skaters in goals (tied for 3rd), shots (5th with 215), and points (6th).

Novalis, the lone invite, does not appear to have any other playing experience, based on his Elite Prospects page. With rookie goaltender Amir Miftakhnov reassigned by the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Solar Bears on Friday, he only spent one day in camp.

Meanwhile, further to the north in Syracuse, defenseman Kevin Lohan, in camp as an invite, appeared in the Crunch’s 2-1 win over Utica in a preseason tilt on Saturday, but only made it through half the contest before this happened:

The other Solar Bears invite to Crunch camp, Aaron Luchuk, went scoreless in Syracuse’s 5-2 loss to Rochester on Sunday afternoon. He skated on the left wing with Simon Ryfors and Max Cajkovic.

If you’re in the Orlando area and interested in checking out the daily practices, you can find the schedule here. The Solar Bears will play two preseason contests in Estero against the Everblades on October 15th and 16th.