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NA Now: Northeast Generals

August 30, 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.

Northeast Generals

Head Coach: Bryan Erikson (7th season)

2022-23 record: 60 GP, 30-25-5, 65 pts. (4th in the East Division)

2022-23 leading scorer: David Andreychuk (75 points)

2023 Playoffs: Lost East Division Semi-Finals to Maryland, 3 games to 0

2023-24 Division: East

First regular season game: Friday, September 8th vs. Maine Nordiques

Home opener: Friday, September 22nd vs. New Jersey Titans

The Northeast Generals come into the 2023-24 season looking to extend their playoff streak to three consecutive years after another successful campaign during the 2022-23 season. They went 30-25-5 in the regular season, claiming the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division. In the first round of the Robertson Cup playoffs, they ran into the division champion Maryland Black Bears and were swept in three games, bringing their season to an end.

The Generals saw 10 players earn NCAA commitments and even boasted the top scorer in the NAHL with David Andreychuk leading the offense. The Yale commit led the league in assists and points with 57 and 75 respectively. Now it will be on head coach Bryan Erikson to refuel the offense to replace his three headed monster at the top of his lineup.“We lost some big guns but we also gained some really valuable experience with our depth players who are now going to turn into those big guns so we’re pretty excited,” said Erikson. “It was a challenging year but we did what we’re supposed to do, we got a lot of kids committed to college, a lot of kids moved to the next level, we just wish we had better results in the standings.”

To climb to a higher place in the standings, the Generals had one clear thought in their offseason process. “Size. The East is a little bit more open, a little more skilled, a little faster, but the one thing we didn’t have that was exposed by Maryland was size. We wanted big kids that can stay true to our identity,” Erikson exclaimed.

In addition to bringing in some bigger talent, the Generals will also have a handful of returners coming back from last year’s playoff squad. Leading the Northeast veterans is Sixten Jennersjo. The Long Island University commit potted 13 goals and 39 points last season. He’s appeared in over 100 games in a Generals uniform. Ryan Remick is committed to Maine and potted 13 goals and 37 points in a season split with Chippewa and Northeast. Tyler Ramm and Jacob Wilson are also returning for the Generals. Ramm has been in the Generals program for five seasons and had 10 goals and 17 points in 43 contests in 2022-23. Wilson notched five goals and 16 points a year ago.

On the blue line, captain Matt DeSpirt will lead the charge as he lit the lamp three times and had 20 points after playing in all 60 games last season. Nick Recupero got called up late in the season and contributed right away with 3 goals and 12 points in 13 games with the NAHL Generals. In the crease, Toby Hope returns for his second season as a General. He went 15-9-2 in 28 appearances, sporting a 2.70 goals against average and a .915 save percentage

Watch: NA Now video interview with Bryan Erikson

“Matt, Nick and Sixten are three guys we’re really going to rely on. Matt and Nick are both defensemen and will be paired together as our top pair. Sixten will be relied on to put up some points,” explained Erikson. “We have six defenseman that played in the last year. We have nine forwards that played in the league for us last year. We expect Nick Ramm to be in that top six center spot. We’re pretty excited about our returners but also excited about our new guys as well.”

This season in Northeast the Generals are looking to be cohesive as a unit and become the seventh different East Division team to advance to the Robertson Cup. “I think what we had last year, the kids just didn’t mesh and we couldn’t really find our identity. This year we decided to go after a group of kids that have an identity. We may not have the 30 goal scorer like Jake LaRusso or the 70 point guy like David Andreychuk or Paul Minnehan,” said Erikson.

“We’re going to have to be gritty. We got a lot of guys that aren’t afraid of taking it to the dirt areas, a lot of guys that are going to do the dirty work in front of the net. We’re going to have to spread out our scoring. If we have eight 15-goal scorers I think we’re in the Robertson Cup. That’s a big ask but I think the depth we have in our lineup is going to be such that we’re going to put kids in good positions to score goals.” Erikson raved about his team.

The Generals are still looking for their first postseason series win but have their sights set on a much deeper playoff run, hopefully one that ends with the Robertson Cup.

Next Up: Odessa Jackalopes

 
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