CORNWALL – The Cornwall River Kings’ roster is slowly starting to take shape and it’s quite clear the team is focusing on young talent with plenty of speed. General manager Mitch Gagne has added a pair of popular veterans and a few newcomers this week.
Jean-Philippe Caron, the speedy forward who had a great first-round series last year vs. Jonquière, has come to terms with the team as has sparkplug Anthony Pittarelli. The Kings also welcome newcomers Pete Karvouniaris – a former Cornwall Colts all-star netminder – as well as Guillaume Rousseau, brothers Olivier and Guillaume Donovan and Jacob Dawson.
Caron, 22, had 6 goals and 7 assists in 25 regular season games but the native of Shawinigan-Sud was particularly impressive in the playoffs, scoring 3 goals and 3 assists in five games.
“J.P. was a key guy we wanted to deal with right away,” said Gagne. “He is full of energy and has the ability to put up great numbers in his second year,” he said.
“Pittarelli coming back will add the grit and speed we are focusing on for this upcoming season,” said Gagne.
Karvouniaris adds depth in goal. In 2010-11, the netminder set a CCHL single-season record with 40 wins. That season, he also posted a 2.18 goals against average and an incredible .933 save percentage. Karvouniaris, who went on to play at Concordia University, suited up overseas in France last year.
“He was a guy I looked at last year but he was already committed to playing in France,” said Gagne. “But this year he is staying in Montreal and with his great numbers he could challenge for some time in the blue paint.”
Rousseau, 23, was acquired from Thetford-Mines for a 9th round pick at last month’s draft. After a four-year junior career in the QMJHL, the 6’1, 210 lb. defenceman has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Isothermic.
The Donovan brothers are from Gatineau. Olivier, 26 played four seasons at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Guillaume, 24, played three seasons at the University of Ottawa.
“These players bring new blood to the team and help with our budget,” said Gagne. “With these important moves, we will be able to afford our top veterans for the upcoming season.”
Dawson, 22, is a local defenceman who adds depth and grit to the back end. The 6-foot 200 lb. blueliner played in three pre-season games for Cornwall last year.