The Flint Firebirds received a commitment from 3.75-star goaltender Peyton Grainer this week; Grainer committed to a standard player agreement and an education package.
This season, the 2002-born goalie will split time between the Firebirds and Belle Tire U18 Midget Major AAA hockey club, who are part of the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League (T1EHL).
“This opportunity is a dream come true for me,” said Grainer. “To have a chance to play in a league like the OHL is unbelievable but I know there is still a lot of work ahead of me. I’m excited to join a coaching staff and organization that is so dedicated to their players and fans. I would like to thank my parents for all of their sacrifices.”
Grainer posted a 1.50 goals-against average in 39 games for Little Caesars last season; the Michigan native has spent the last two summers skating at USA Hockey’s Select 16 and Select 17 camps.
“Peyton is a big goalie who covers his angles very well,” our scouts said. “He is quick down low with quick reflexes.”
The Firebirds also signed 3.75-star forward Zach Giroux, who began this season for the Rayside-Balfour Canadians.
“Even though he is on the smaller side, Giroux has good hockey sense and controls the tempo when the puck is on his stick,” said our scouts. “He passes with a purpose and has his head up when the puck is on his stick looking to move the puck forward.”
Lalama is a 17-year-old goaltender who last season manned the crease for the Niagara North Stars (midget). He began this season with Collingwood (OJHL) and had a 2.50 GAA in two games. Lalama was taken in the first round of the OHL U18 Priority Selection this past summer.
Dvurechenskii is a 6-foot-4 forward who played for the North York Rangers (midgets) last season.
“Matteo is a competitive goalie that is really improving as he gets older, stronger and sees more higher caliber shots,” said Barrie GM Jason Ford. “He had an excellent training camp and we are excited to add him to our goaltending depth.
“Vlad is a powerful kid for his age. He skates well, has pretty good hands and a strong shot. For a player his size, he has a lot of good attributes that will help him become an impact player along the way.”