Rangers build on toughness and winning experience
PRESCOTT - As the heat of summer finally kicks in, and most of the area is thinking of beaches and weekends at the cottage, Andrew Dickson is focusing on the colder days to come. The General Manager of the Prescott Rangers has been busy putting together the building blocks of the new National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL) team.
His first two announcements was the naming of the leaders both behind the bench and on the ice. Shawn Forbes will be the inaugural bench boss of the Prescott squad, while Carson Pickup will wear the "C" as captain of the team.
Forbes is no stranger to junior hockey having spent five years with the Kemptville '73s on the ice as well as a stint as assistant coach on the other side of the bench. As an over-age player in 1996-97 Forbes was part of a team that went undefeated.
"I learned the ropes early," Forbes says, adding that he is eager to continue his career here in Prescott. "I can't wait to get started. As I talk with people in the community, I am starting to realize what a great hockey town Prescott is. Everyone seems so excited."
Carson Pickup is a familiar face to South Grenville Hockey fans. The area native was part of the CCHL2 Prescott Flyers organization for the past three seasons, an acting assistant captain last season and part of the team that won the Gill Cup in 2014-15.
"Carson Pickup has been a leader for the Flyers since day one," GM Dickson explains. "I was lucky enough to win a Gill cup with him. It's an honour to reward a local kid. Carson works hard, plays a team game and has a great scoring touch," he says.
Head Coach Forbes agrees with Dickson's assessments.
"Pickup was always a player I circled in on when I was coaching against him; always a threat to score. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. I like guys who play tough and will stick up for teammates."
For his part, the outspoken Pickup is appreciative of the opportunity the team brass has placed on him.
"I always try to stay positive, regardless of the situation. You never know what can happen, " Pickup states. "I'm so happy for Dennis Van Luit (team owner) bringing us a team and giving us a place to play," he concludes.
The Rangers also announced their first trade earlier this week, to acquiring Travis and Dylan Marshall from the North Dundas Rockets.
Travis Marshall, a 6'-180lb forward most recently had four goals and 12 points in 22 games with the Char-Lan Rebels of CCHL2 before joining the North Dundas Rockets in the NCJHL to make a run at the championship. The Rockets eventually lost to Embrun in the finals.
Dylan Marshall, a 6'2"-195lb defenseman had two points in 22 games with the Char-Lan Rebels of CCHL2 before joining the Rockets where he added five points in 15 playoff games. At St. Lawrence College, Dylan was also a member of the #1 ranked college team in the province; a team that eventually won a provincial championship.
In a social media post, Dickson explained the acquisition.
"The Marshall boys bring with them character and experience; two things you can't teach a hockey player. I love their size, and willingness to bang bodies all over the ice. Dylan makes a great first pass and takes pride in being steady in his own zone. Travis is in your face all game, a tough player to play against," Dickson stated.