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Braves add depth to the lineup – R&T

Jonathon Brodie – Recorder & Times

New team, new year.

That’s exactly how Tyler Carangelo explained it Tuesday when he got off the ice after his first practice with the Brockville Braves. The Braves acquired the 1997-born forward from the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits on Monday in exchange for the rights to sophomore Mack Hancock, who hadn’t suited up for Brockville all year and instead opted to suit up for the Syracure Jr. Stars in the National Collegiate Development Conference.

“I think I have good vision and I can find people wherever they are and if I get in close I think I can put the puck into the net,” said Carangelo. “Defensively I think I do well and I think I can help the boys out in any way that they need me to.”

Carangelo finished his first practice at the Memorial Centre smiling and looking refreshed – a huge difference from how he probably felt roughly 14 hours earlier when he first got to town.

The 20-year-old had left his home in Connecticut and reported back to Brooks, Alta. on Boxing Day before getting the news he had been shipped to Brockville less than a week later and then took a flight into Ottawa that landed at around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. By the time he got into Brockville it was about 2 a.m. and he was so exhausted from the entire day he knows a new teammate picked him up, but he wasn’t quite sure who it was.

When Carangelo woke up he went straight to the Memorial Centre and from there it looked as if he got his feet back under him as he practiced alongside Nicholas Hawkins and Philippe Gilmour on the Braves second line.

There’s no guarantee that’s where he’ll stay throughout the rest of the season or even the Braves next home game with top-six forward Tyson Kirkby expected to return soon from a hand injury. What is certain, though, is the addition of Carangleo points to an encouraging sign of the Braves depth.

“I’m going to work and battle for my spot,” said Carangleo.

The 6-foot-0 forward is coming into Brockville billed as a strong skater with good hockey sense who is willing to get into the dirty areas and usually comes out of them with the puck. Whether you put someone like that on the second or third line might not really matter because either way you know you’re getting a skilled player added somewhere in the lineup.

“He, obviously, adds a lot of speed and some experience having some pretty good years out west,” said Braves coach Jesse Winchester about Carangelo, who earned 10 goals and 21 assists in 44 games (over parts of two seasons) with the Bandits. “We’re fortunate to have him and we’re looking forward to building the next two months with him in the lineup. He’s going to help us a lot and he comes highly recommended, so he’ll get a chance to make an immediate impact.”

Last year the Braves recruited players who had won at various levels in hopes of it translating into a winning formula in the junior hockey ranks. With those players’past successes mostly coming from various midget and U.S. high school divisions, the winning never really moved over to the higher-skilled CCHL.

With Carangelo it’s different, though. He was part of a 2016-17 Brooks Bandits team that lost only one game in the AJHL playoffs, followed it up by dominating in the Western Canada Championships and then came one goal away from winning the RBC Cup before losing 3-2 in overtime to the Terrebone Cobras.

With captain Andrew Jarvis and Kirkby being the most experienced playoff-players on the Braves roster – and both have only made it to the second-round of the CCHL post-season just once – then playoff time might be when you really see Carangelo move up the Braves depths charts.

“I think he has that competitiveness because he’s been through the playoff grind before, so it’s not going to shock him,” said Winchester. “He’s played with some worldclass talent and he’s going to be a guy we can rely on to play. I haven’t seen him play, but just based on his resume he’s going to fit in well.”

Original Story at Recorder.ca