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NA Now: New Hampshire Mountain Kings

August 26, 2023

The NA Now series features a look at all 32 teams in the NAHL for the 2023-24 season, with a new team being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. NA Now looks into each NAHL team including interviews with all the head coaches in the NAHL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the season, including taking a look at their strengths as a team and thoughts on the league. It will also take a look back on last season and how each team fared and what they accomplished.

New Hampshire Mountain Kings

Head Coach: Cam Robichaud (1st season)

2022-23 record: Did not play

2022-23 leading scorer: Did not play

2023 Playoffs: Did not play

2023-24 Division: East

First regular season game: Wednesday, September 13th vs. Bismarck Bobcats

Home opener: Friday, September 22nd vs. Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks

The New Hampshire Mountain Kings are the second of three new expansion teams to be profiles in the NA Now season preview. On March 16, 2023, the Mountain Kings were introduced as the 32nd team in the NAHL and 9th in the East Division. The Mountain Kings are owned by the New Hampshire Hockey Club, LLC, an entity owned and operated by managing partner, Chris Brown. “Our ownership group is ecstatic with this announcement. We have been working tirelessly to get to this point and are excited to do the work necessary to get the Mountain Kings on the ice in 2023-24,” said Brown.

The Mountain Kings will be based out of Tri Town Ice Arena in Hooksett, which is located between Concord (state capital) and Manchester (largest city). The two-sheet facility has 1,200 seats and a 1,500 capacity with standing room only, which includes concessions and a bar. This year, there is a planned two-million-dollar expansion, which includes a million dollars in energy improvements, an upgrade in dasher boards and plexi glass, and a first-class locker room and athletic training facility for the NAHL team. The Mountain Kings also added a NA3HL team to play in the East Division as well.

The next step for New Hampshire was to find a new and experienced head coach. In early April, they did just that with the hiring of Cam Robichaud. The native of Auburn, Maine, was a familiar face to those in the NAHL and NA3HL. Robichaud had previous NAHL experience with the Maine Nordiques during their inaugural season in 2019-20. Prior to that, he was the head coach for the NA3HL’s L/A Nordiques/Fighting Spirit from 2016-19. He led the L/A Nordiques to the Fraser Cup Final in 2019.

“I’m excited. It’s something I’ve been working towards for a while. I think I learned a lot from coaching in the NA3HL and as an assistant in the NAHL and I am honored that ownership has put their trust in me to build a successful program,” said Robichaud. “Like anything in life that you do, you reflect on, take the good, and you look at areas that you can improve upon. In the NAHL, you don't fully understand until you have been a part of it. I have been fortunate to be a part of it and gained experience and understand what the league is about."

Watch: NA Now video interview with Cam Robichaud

The Mountain Kings first ever game comes on the first day of the NAHL Showcase against the Bismarck Bobcats. Robichaud said that it will be an exciting moment and event for the team. “It’s the best event in junior hockey and it will be something new for all of our guys and staff. I’ve been there as a coach and as a spectator, and it keeps getting better and better. They have all played in Showcases and Playoffs, but nothing like this. It will put some pressure on as well, because as an expansion team, there will be a lot of firsts,” said Robichaud.

As for the Mountain Kings roster, Robichaud did not elaborate on any specific player as the team is going through their final training camp. However a look at the potential roster shows that the Mountain Kings will be a younger team, but will have some players with some NAHL experience like defensemen Owen Simmons and forwards Tanner Brouwer and Isaac Rentmeeter. Both goalies on the roster as it stands now are junior hockey rookies. The average age of the opening night line-up should be right around 18 ½. “There was a quick turnaround. From the team announcement, to my hiring, to the Draft and to camp, so we feel we have managed to build a team that can be competitive in its first season in just six months. There is some knowledge there on how to build and what to expect,” said Robichaud.

“I am big on details and everyone buying into what we are trying to do. I also look for a lot of intensity. Lastly, I want our guys to be creative. The game of hockey has evolved a lot the last 10 years and there is a lot of focus on skill, speed, and we need to make a good first impression,” said Robichaud. “I think fans will really enjoy the level of play and the pace of the NAHL. Our ownership has given us the resources to be successful from Day 1. The building has been upgraded in many places and we have a great billet system so far. Everyone wants to be a part of the success so it’s encouraging.”

Next Up: New Jersey Titans

 
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