“The Odense Bulldogs conducted the player meetings with the Danish Players in April at which time we discussed the future plans of the team. In these discussions we came to the resolution that Søren Nielsen would pursue a future with his girlfriend (professional handball player) in another country. Kim Karsberg would take the opportunity to play in North America. Julian Jakobsen was in discussions with Swedish Clubs, and eventually signed a contract. Mick Jensen was no longer in the clubs plan for the future, and encouraged to find a new club which he has since found. These players all did a great job for OIK over the years, and we wish them well in the future. Our returning players were encouraged to explore their options for the next season, but the club made it clear of our intentions that we wanted to retain their services. We were pleased that the players remained loyal and patient to play in Odense in the future. We also welcomed back Michael Eskesen to Odense. Unfortunately Michael was injured preparing to play in the WC for Denmark, and we are not sure when he will be able to play this season. We are hoping that a return to the ice in January would be an exciting addition to the team.

Our team model really did not change a great deal from the previous season. We planned to have 4 import forwards, three defensemen, and 1 goalie. Within the team formation we would have Forward lines of 2 imports forwards play with a Dane on two lines, and then have 2 lines of Danish players, same format as last season. On Defense we would have one import paired with one Dane in our top 6 defensemen, and then the 7th and 8th defensemen ready and progressing when injuries arise. This alignment would give us a complete 4 line setup, with OIK players training and progressing within the system for the future.

Last season we introduced young Odense players to the lineup and we will continue to have young Odense players from the OIK Amateur system with the club this season. From last year, we expect Claus Ericksen, Mads Jespersen, and Jeppe Rasmussen to take a larger role this season. We are very excited about the additions of Anders Feddersen, Kristian Zink, and Nicklas Dabbag. In addition, we used the training camp to evaluate players both in training and games, and were pleased with the efforts of Kenneth Boisen and Alexander Hansson at forward. They showed they have the speed and can handle the physical play of the Elite League. Matthias Holmlund will continue his progression with the club, and Kasper Hovgaard is a versatile player prospect as well, as he can play both the forward and defense position.

As far as our import players, we base our belief in character people, who are intelligent players that can understand and play our Odense “Style of Game” , but more importantly represent the Club, City of Odense, and Hockey community of Fyn in a professional manner. Our imports need to be smart players that can adapt to the new league in Denmark, and can play with controlled emotions. At the forward position we were looking for players that have a history of producing goals, good skaters that can play a fast paced and physical game, and players that are good at protecting and controlling the puck. We are pleased with the players we have signed which include Ryan Huddy, Dan Rudisuela, and Chris Falloon. On defense, we were recruiting players with the priority to take care of the defensive part of the game, especially the dangerous area in front of the net. We are all familiar with Orjan Lindmark, and we are pleased with the additions of Blake Forsyth and Cody Bostock. For our goaltender, we wanted to have veteran goalie, that is familiar with the Danish League, and could be a mentor for our young prospect goalie. Brian Greer was the perfect choice for our goaltender position.

With this new dawn of Bulldogs hockey, there have been many changes in player personnel.  In putting together a hockey team, there are many considerations and we have worked long and hard to recruit players who can master the Bulldogs style of play.  We backcheck hard, we play smart hockey, we attack the net, and we play with controlled restraint.

With the combination of seasoned veteran players and fresh new dynamos, we are looking forward to a very exciting season of hockey.  Nowhere is this balance more obvious than between the pipes where the experience of Brian Greer will shine for our club and provide a strong foundation and mentorship for Nicklas Dabbagh.  There will be a learning curve with the team in general as we teach and master our Bulldog strategy, but we feel confident that we have the team to make it happen.

Above all, we have a strong squad of players with character.  Players who will make good choices on the ice and conduct themselves as fine young men off the ice.  This is a team that can shine in competition and in the community and take the Bulldogs organization to where we want to be.  On top!”