Maine Hockey Journal

Maineiacs perform some light housekeeping prior to the start of camp

The Lewiston Maineiacs did a little housekeeping today by sending goaltender Dwayne Rodrigue to the Victoriaville Tigres for a 12th round pick in the 2011 QMJHL Draft.

With training camp expecting to open in less than two weeks, the Maineiacs had seven goaltenders on the roster, including Rodrigue, meaning it was only a matter of time before Lewiston made a move to thin out the crease.

It’s expected that Nick Champion will be the starter for at least the first half of the season with Jordan Kennedy and Andrei Makarov battling it out for the backup spot on the team.

Champion, 20, was acquired on draft day in a trade with Rouyn-Noranda as the Maineiacs made numerous moves that day to acquire the #1 overall pick, which turned out to be defenseman Dillon Fournier.

Makarov, 17, was drafted by the Maineiacs (#42 overall) in the first round of the CHL Import Draft and Maineiacs GM Roger Shannon was nothing but magnanimous about young Russian at the time.

“We really like this guy,” said Maineiacs GM Roger Shannon. “We think he has a very high upside. We definitely want to have a guy that has the opportunity next year in the NHL draft and (someone who) really wants to play in North America that wants to increase the chances to being drafted in the NHL.”

Kennedy, a 2009 draft pick of the Maineiacs, appeared in 12 games last season as a starter or in relief, going 0-7-0 with a 5.90GAA with a .848 save percentage.

Shannon feels having this depth give the organization options, including today’s trade of moving Rodrigue, before the puck drops in September.

“We know that goaltending is an important position,” Shannon told MHJ back on June 29th. “We’ve got Jordan (Kennedy), Nick Champion and now (Andrei) Makarov so we’ve got three capable goalies right now. We just have to see what we’re going to do and how we’re going to approach our goaltending situation.

“We’ve got options and I wanted to have options.”

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