3View: Oregon Tradesmen | North American Tier III Hockey League | NA3HL
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3View: Oregon Tradesmen

September 2, 2023

The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2023-24 season, with two teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 3View goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all the head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2023-24 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 2022-23 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 3View will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.

Oregon Tradesmen

Head Coach: Eric Fenton (3rd season)

2022-23 Record: 31-10-6, 68 pts (2nd in the Central Division)

2022-23 Leading Scorer: Carter Watters (53 points)

2023 Playoffs: Won the Central Division. Lost in the Fraser Cup Semi-Finals to Alexandria, 3-2

2023-24 Division: Central Division

After claiming the first Central Division title in team history, the Oregon Tradesmen had all eyes set on claiming the NA3HL’s ultimate prize, the Fraser Cup. The Tradesmen fell just short at the Fraser Cup Championship in St. Peters, MO, as they lost in the Semi-Finals. Head Coach Eric Fenton felt they had a team that was built around postseason play and had the players to win it all last season.

“Everything was coming to fruition late in the season until we hit a snag and had some real adversity where we lost 3 top forwards and we had others playing through injuries,” Fenton said. “We ended the season with our emergency backup goalie finishing the regular season for us.  With that said I was still really happy with the success of our team. It was all because of the leadership and character we had in the locker room. One bounce here or there and we would have been in the championship game and who knows what could have happened.”

After compiling an impressive 31-10-5-1 regular season record, the Tradesmen knocked off the 2021-22 defending Robertson Cup Champion Rochester Grizzlies in the playoffs to claim the Central Division. During the regular season the Tradesmen had no problem with their offensive attack as they were 4th amongst all NA3HL teams in Goals For scoring 224 times.

Fenton, who is entering his third season with the three-year-old franchise, has seen players advance on to the NAHL, via tenders and the draft, along with heading to the NCAA level.

“I've enjoyed coaching at this level,” Fenton said. “I've learned a lot in my two years and the biggest thing I have taken away is that you have to work to develop your players to move them to the next level. When you do that, Players want to be a part of your organization and in turn, the wins just take care of themselves. When you have the best interests of the player at heart, you will create an environment where they will thrive. We had five NAHL tenders from last year’s team (Murn, Falconer, Parent, Nett and Stafford) and one other got drafted (Stensrud).”

With the upcoming 2023-24 season looming, the Tradesmen are going to be seeing a lot of rookie players. With the possibility of early struggles, the team will welcome back a few returning players to the club. Goaltender Tyler Fromolz, who was outstanding last season totaling a 1.85 GAA and a .915 SV% will be the backbone between the pipes. Up front the Tradesmen will see Easton Simpson (12-13-25) and Jordan Larke (13-13-26) who will carry a lot of the offensive load. Newcomers who’ve come from trades include forwards Ben Carlson (Yellowstone Quake: 8-4-12) and Zack Slinger (Gillette Wild: 13-16-29) will be looked at to lead as well.

“We are going to have a roster full of rookies this season,” Fenton said. “I anticipate we may struggle early on, but we will treat the regular season as an exercise for the postseason. We will have our ups and downs, but we will use all of it to learn and grow as a team. Our goaltending should be our strong suit which should give us a chance to win every night. We feel we have some rookies coming in that will have promising junior careers. Our coaching staff will do all we can to set them up for success and bring out the best in all our players.”

Building off the experiences over the last two seasons, the Tradesmen are excited for the continued growth within their organization.

“I'm excited about the unknown,” Fenton said. “We are going to be very young and it's going to be exciting seeing them grow throughout the season.”

Next Up: Peoria Mustangs

 
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