The Nipissing Lakers men’s hockey team has reached out to Eastern Canada to find their latest recruits, signing a pair of Nova Scotia-born players.
The Lakers and head coach Mike McParland are excited and pleased to announce that both Brock Morrison and Colin Campbell will be part of the program for the 2014-15 season.
Morrison, who comes from Howie Centre, Nova Scotia, wrapped up his junior career with the Amherst Ramblers in the MJAHL this past season.
Campbell hails from Bateston, Nova Scotia, a small town of about 100 people and he recently concluded his junior career as the captain of the Yarmouth Mariners.
Both players have proven in their career they can put up some points and find the back of the net, which will help the Lakers replace some of the goals and points they lost from graduating players this past season.
"I believe that Brock will come in and fill one of our open spots at centre. Brock is another player from a very good harvest of new recruits, with good character and outstanding academics. I look forward to big things from Brock on and off the ice,” McParland said.
“Colin is another player from Nova Scotia and was captain this year of the Yarmouth Mariners and has chosen to come to Nipissing. Our scouts on the East Coast believe that Colin could develop into a point a game player at the OUA level. Combined with his outstanding leadership qualities and good size, Colin will definitely have an impact on our roster.”
This past season, Morrison piled up 62 points in 51 games with the Ramblers, which followed up a 39 point season in 2012-13.
Morrison enjoyed his two most productive junior seasons with the ramblers after playing for both the Mariners and Summerside Western Capitals.
He also played few games for the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL.
The centreman is excited about the opportunity at the OUA/CIS level.
“I'm really excited to get to North Bay and to Nipissing and to get things started. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the school and the hockey program. When I was deciding on my plans for this upcoming season I was really interested in playing for a small town university and Nipissing fit that perfectly,” he said.
“They just seem to be more welcoming and Mike as well as everyone else from the university I’ve spoken to have been so helpful through the recruitment and registration process.”
Morrison will be joining the Orientation to Teaching program when school begins in September.
While he had strong offensive season in junior, he said he prides himself on being a responsible player defensively who can also put up points when he’s asked to.
That combination is hopefully what’s going to make him successful for the Lakers next year and for years to come.
“I like to think of myself as a two-way forward who is strong on face-offs. I think when entering a level of hockey as high as CIS you have to be realistic about your expectations as far as putting up offensive numbers, but I'm hoping I can chip in offensively and improve on that each year, to help replace the offense they have lost from the past season,” Morrison explained.
Campbell is a player who has really impressed on the offensive side of the game, racking up 245 points in 203 games in the MJAHL, including an 83-point campaign in 2011-12 with the Mariners.
He followed that up with back-to-back 60-plus point seasons.
He said he’s looking forward to the challenge that he’ll get in the OUA.
“I am extremely excited to join the Lakers as well as Nipissing University. I have heard great things about both the hockey and the school, and I’m extremely excited to start a new chapter of my life at Nipissing,” he said.
While his strengths may be with the puck, he said it’s important to play strong defensively and transition that into offence, so he plans on making sure he’s responsible in his own end and when he doesn’t have the puck.
“I like to contribute offensively, but also help out as much defensively as possible. I like to take whatever role that best suits me for the team and do whatever I can to help the team win,” Campbell said.
Both players coming in are 21 years old and come in highly touted from the Lakers eastern scouts.
The fact that both players have had a long and successful junior career will help them excel with the Lakers and even something like having lived away from home will ease the transition when they come to North Bay near the end of August.
“I think my junior experience will be very helpful. I had the opportunity to play major junior and junior A and I think that will be very valuable when it comes to the on-ice and accepting a bigger role as each season progresses,” he said. “Also off the ice I have four years of living away from home which will keep the move from being overwhelming.”
“Having played junior for a great organization in Yarmouth for the past four years will be a big help. I had a lot of experiences and help that have allowed me to deal with adversity and become a better player on and off the ice,” Campbell noted.
“The transition from Junior to CIS will take a little bit to adapt to off the start, but Junior will help make the transition easier.”
Both Morrison and Campbell agree that winning is first and they’ll help out any way they can.
“Expectations are always win. Having a winning team is the main thing,” Campbell stated.