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Familiar face rejoining Lakers

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A familiar face will be back in the fold next season with the Fort Frances Lakers.

The Lakers announced last Friday that they had acquired forward Tyler Malpass from the Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL).

Malpass last suited up for the club back in the 2016-17 season in which he tallied 15 goals and 14 assists in 47 games.

He then added three helpers in six playoff games.

The 19-year-old Sault Ste. Marie native racked up 19 goals and 22 assists the last two seasons with his hometown Thunderbirds.

“We are extremely happy to bring Tyler back into our program and family,” enthused Lakers' head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan.

"He brings a lot of spirit to the game and has the ability to score big goals.

“He can be a solid leader and we believe he can have a big season in the SIJHL,” he added.

Strachan feels as though Malpass will fit into a top-six role with the Lakers to begin the season—a similar role to what the departed Jaedin Ness played the last few years.

“They are very similar players in ability, he will bring scoring, tenacity and leadership,” he noted.

"[We expect him to have] an immediate impact in our locker room, someone who can lead by example.

“With him being familiar with our program, he knows how and what the staff is all about,” Strachan reasoned.

“Having that relationship with us, he should be able to settle quickly into our systems and be comfortable with the transition.”

Strachan also noted that he has had some good conversations with Malpass and believes that he is preparing to have a solid season and to be a leader for the team.

“He gives us an energy guy, good offensive presence and leadership—all areas we need to add to with the loss of players to aging out,” he stressed.

“He will be a big part of our team in many ways, so I believe this trade is a step in the right direction for the program and a big boost for our lineup.”

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