Eagles add two players, including area native
The Soo Eagles welcomed December by adding a pair of players to their North American Hockey League roster.
The Eagles acquired 1994 birth-year forward Nick Belger from North Division rival Springfield Jr. Blues for future considerations and promoted 1994 birth-year goalie Nathan Klebe from the Flint Jr. Generals of the North American 3 Hockey League.
Belger, who already has a future National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I commitment to play at Sacred Heart University, had three goals and six assists for nine points in 18 games with Springfield this season.
Belger had asked Springfield for a trade and the Eagles were quick to accomodate him, giving up a future tender in return.
Klebe, who is from South Lyon, arrived in the Soo to at least temporarily take the roster spot of goalie Paige Skoog, who is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion.
While with Flint of the NA3 this season, Klebe posted a 10-0-1 record, 1.43 goals against average and .940 save percentage.
“We have been scouting him and we like what we have seen of him,” Eagles coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo said of Klebe. “He could have a future with us.”
As of Dec. 4, the Eagles were in last place in the six-team North Division with 20 points from an 8-13-4 record.
“Obviously we are not where we want to be 25 games into the season but there's a long way to go yet,” Bragagnolo said.
All teams in the four-division, 24-member NAHL play a 60-game, regular-season schedule.
From a Sault Ste. Marie standpoint, Bragagnolo is happy with the play of 1995 birth-year defenseman Michael Caruso, who the Eagles acquired in an off-season transfer with the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League's Soo Thunderbirds.
“He's missed (seven) games with a shoulder injury but when he's played, he's played very well for us. A few Division I (NCAA) schools have been asking about him,” Bragagnolo said of the 6-foot-1, 190 pound Caruso, who had a goal and four assists for five points in 18 games through Dec. 4.