It’s not that the Lewiston Maineiacs are trying to make a statement, though no one could really blame them if they were.

The lineup for this afternoon’s preseason game against Victoriaville will feature some faces that will likely become awfully familiar around these parts the next couple of seasons.

Of course, some of the veterans will sit, due either to injury or to the team’s desire to see some of the younger players in game action. But there will also be plenty of players expected to crack the final roster.

The two goalies chosen for Game 1 of the Maineiacs’ preseason are Jordan Kennedy and Andrey Makarov. The pair are expected to battle, along with Tyler Piercy, for the team’s backup position behind Nicholas Champion.

A quick peek at the forward group yields some familiar faces: Stefan Fournier, Matthew Bissonette, Etienne Brodeur, Francis Beauvillier, Sam Henley and P-O Morin are all expected to hit the ice.

That’s some serious firepower, and against a lineup from Victoriaville that, well, isn’t quite so packed with talent.

Fans in attendance will also get to see No. 1 pick Dillon Fournier in his team debut. He’ll be joined on the blue line by veterans Zach Shannon, Sam Finn and Sam Carrier.

One of the newer guys to keep an eye on, who, in my opinion, is a bubble guy for this team, will be Marc-Antoine Rousseau.

Speaking of the bubble …

Here’s how I break this roster down so far:

Fournier – BissonetteChaput

Morin – TanguyBeauvillier

BrodeurCritchlowHoude-Caron

Anthoine * – Henley – Lalonde

Rousseau – Coonishish-Coon – ???*

The defense is really self-explanatory:

Carrier – Fournier

Finn – Dame-Malka

Evans-Renaud – Saab

Shannon

And in goal, it should probably be Champion, Makarov and, maybe, Kennedy.

A couple of quick explanatory notes: I see Connor Anthoine making this team. He’s proven he can play at this level, and with the right coaching, he could be a nice surprise, both this year and next. The question now is, can the team and the Anthoine camp make it work? Connor has, of course, committed to Vermont. So he’ll need to think about it for a while.

The question marks, meanwhile, are there because I have a strong hunch that there may be a minor deal in the works. Nothing concrete yet, and i have no official word to back that up. But something is up, and with the top three lines really filled out, i would suspect it is a relatively minor transaction that will add a measure of depth and grit to the fourth line, while the team continues to help Coonishish-Coon, perhaps Anthoine and Lalonde develop.

The team may opt to keep an eighth defenseman, and if so, look for Braden Wood. Kourkoulis’ departure for medical reasons Friday leaves that No. 8 slot wide open, and Wood, a recent draftee and just 16, may have the inside track here. He’s expected to begin practicing Monday.

Another quick note about a departure: Domenico Antonacci has also left camp.

Game time is at 4 p.m. Look for live updates, here on the In the Crease blog!


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