34 in 34: Wisconsin Whalers
September 1, 2015
The 34 in 34 series will feature an in-depth look into all 34 teams in the NA3HL for the 2015-16 season, with a new team being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 34 in 34 goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all 34 head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2015-16 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2014-15 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 34 in 34 will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
2014-15 Record: 29-13-5, 63 pts. (2nd in the Central Division)
2014-15 Playoffs: Lost in Central Division finals to West Michigan, 2-1
Head Coach: Tom McDermott
2015-16 Division: Central
The Wisconsin Whalers came up a little short of their goal of making it to the Silver Cup last season as they lost a heart breaking series to West Michigan in the Central division finals. This season they are hoping to get over the hump and challenge for a championship. Once again leading the Whalers behind the bench will be long time coach Tom McDermott.
Coach McDermott is looking to lead the Whalers back to the playoffs for the 3rd season in a row. “I am really pleased with the way our team has come together. We have some strong players returning from last season that will provide solid leadership for the younger guys. We should be a strong team and I am looking forward to seeing what this team can achieve this season,” said McDermott.
The Whalers will be returning eight players from last year’s team to the 2015-16 roster. One returner in particular that will be counted on to provide leadership will be forward Peter Henderson. Henderson led the NA3HL last season in scoring as well as received the forward of the year award and rookie of the year award. He will once again be looked upon to lead the Whalers offensive attack. The Whalers also look to be strong on the back end with multiple defenseman returning to man the blue line.
“I like the way the team is shaping up. I think we will be a very gritty team that works hard and is tough to play against every night. We should be solid up front with a strong group of forwards. We have a lot of depth on the blue line as well and should be very strong in net with two very capable goalies. Our team skill and speed will be a big strength for us this season,” said McDermott
The Whalers will once again be competing in the Central division, but the division will have a few changes this season. The Central division will once again have familiar foes Chicago Jr. Bulldogs, La Crosse Freeze, and Wisconsin. The two newcomers for the season are the North Iowa Bulls and Rochester Ice Hawks.
Coach McDermott is excited about the new division and looking forward to continuing old rivalries and making new ones. “Looking at the Central division I really think it could be the toughest division in the league. From top to bottom all of the teams are strong. There wont be any nights off for us. We are going to have to be ready to compete and bring our best every game. Our goal is always the same to start the season and that is to make the playoffs. It will be tough in the Central division, but we are looking forward to the challenge,” said McDermott.
The Whalers open the season at home Friday, September 11 at 7:30PM against the La Crosse Freeze at the Oregon Ice Arena in Oregon, WI.
Next up in the 34 in 34 series: Wooster Oilers