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Carefoot Returns As Rangers’ Bench Boss

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Tyler Carefoot will be back behind the bench for the Parkland Rangers next season.

Carefoot shared head coaching duties last season with Rick Freese, who will not be returning to the U18 club.

“I’m very happy and honoured to be given the position. I’m excited to be given the opportunity to, hopefully, have a full season and help our Parkland kids develop and have some success,” he said, adding he is currently searching for an assistant coach.

In last year’s abbreviated season, the Rangers were 6-1 before the year was wiped out because of COVID-19.

The team will lose eight players to age and may lose others to junior hockey. But there is the potential for a solid group of players returning next season, giving Carefoot a talented core to build around.

“Once the dust settles, we’ll see the hand we’re dealt. But if all the players that are eligible to come back do, I think there’s lots to be optimistic for. It’s still very early, but ultimately, I think everybody is excited, given all the hockey that they’ve lost in the last couple of seasons,” he said. “I think everybody is excited to be able to get back onto the ice and try to get back to a routine and being an athlete again and start doing what we all love to do, and that’s being at the rink.”

The biggest hole will be in goal where all-star Keaton Ziprick manned the pipes. Carefoot said that position is wide open, but there are a handful of goaltenders in the pipeline that will be given an opportunity.

“So I look forward to watching that challenge come about,” he said.

Up front is a strong core of players such as Steven Arp, Rylan Gibbs, Jayce Legaarden, Carter Zalischuk and Kyan Grouette who will be counted on to help carry the team.

“If they choose to be a Parkland Ranger, we’re going to give them every opportunity to have success,” Carefoot said.

While it is tough to lose defencemen the caliber of Jayden Jubenvill and Hayden Lacquette, Carefoot feels the six or seven defencemen patrolling the blueline will be able to do the job by committee.

“Overall, I’m like a kid again. It’s nice to be able to get back into the rink and help develop some of our players,” he said.

According to Carefoot, the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League plans to open its season sometime in September. With junior camps taking place in early September, the Rangers will hold its camp, Aug. 27 to 29, at Credit Union Place.

“We’ll get down to a comfortable number and then have a break to allow a lot of our players to go to junior camps. Once the dust settles, we’ll welcome them back and we’ll get serious and get on with the season. Again, there’s lots to be optimistic about,” Carefoot said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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