Sault product Cole Ambeault is on the move

Sault native Cole Ambeault is joining the Rayside Balfour Canadians of the NOJHL from the Blind River Beavers. jpg, SH

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Sault Ste. Marie product Cole Ambeault is changing Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League teams.
The 2001-birth-year forward is heading down Highway 17 from the Blind River Beavers to the Rayside Balfour Canadians in a cash exchange between the NOJHL rivals.
Ambeault is making the move for school reasons, being that he is planning on going to school at Cambrian College in Sudbury in the fall.
Ambeault played in 50 NOJHL games for Blind River in 2019-2020 and totaled two goals, nine assists, 11 points.
Before that, he spent the 2018-2019 season with the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Midget Hockey League and came through with 12 goals, 16 assists, 28 points in 37 games.
Prior, he played high school hockey in the Sault for the St. Mary’s Knights and at the AA midget level with the Root River Rangers.
There is a new occupant in the Bird house.
That is, Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL have added a productive forward to their lineup ahead of the 2020-2021 season.
Russell Oldham, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound front line skater, has landed in the Bird nest via the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
Of note, Oldham is also a 2018 Ontario Hockey League under-18 draft pick of the Flint Firebirds.
Oldham, who has a 2001 birth date, put up his share of points in the GOJHL while playing for the St. Thomas Stars and the Komoka Kings of the southwestern Ontario based loop in 2019-2020.
Totaling up the numbers between St. Thomas and Komoka this past season, Oldman hit for 14 goals, 20 assists, 34 points in 49 regular season games.
Soo Eagles of the NOJHL will hold their main tryout camp in about three weeks from now.
Eagles general manager Bruno Bragagnolo confirmed the mid-August main camp dates and details.
The Eagles are one of 11 teams in the NOJHL and its lone American entry.
With a good reputation as a franchise that develops its players and provides a first rate environment, the Eagles are coming off a 2019-2020 season in which they posted a record of 30-21-5.
The 65 points that the Eagles earned was good for fourth place in the NOJHL’s West Division and just two points back of the third place Soo Thunderbirds. The Eagles then swept the fifth place Espanola Express in two straight games in the preliminary round of the playoffs before the COVID-19 pandemic put an abrupt end to the season.
Off the ice, the Eagles are actively involved in the Michigan Soo community. And they have received considerable recognition for their volunteer work within the community.
Besides the veteran Bragagnolo as their long-time general manager of 10 years, the Eagles feature the reputable Doug Laprade as their head coach.
The 51-year-old Laprade is a former national championship player and assistant coach from his days with the Lake Superior State University Lakers.
Known as a player’s coach, Laprade has spent the past two seasons as the Eagles bench boss.
At any rate, the Eagles main camp is slated for Aug. 12-14 at Big Bear Arena in the Michigan Soo.
For player registration, go to or call general manager Bruno Bragagnolo via 847-921-4543 or head coach Doug Laprade at 906-322-0748.
It was a straight up one-for-one trade that delivered the Espanola Express a new passenger ahead of the 2020-2021 NOJHL season.
And Express president and general manager Jason Rapcewicz has an idea of what 2001-birth-year center James Eng will bring to Espanola for the coming season.
Hailing from Mississauga, Ont., the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Eng netted six goals, 15 assists, 21 points in 56 games for the French River Rapids as an NOJHL rookie in 2019-2020.
“James is a gifted forward who has the ability to play in a top six role,” Rapcewicz began, in summation of Eng. “His exceptional work ethic and dedication to development will be the key to his success this coming season.
“We feel that James will be a welcome addition to the train yard this year,” Rapcewicz added of Eng, who was recently acquired by the Express in exchange for fellow 2001-birth-year forward Jaydyn Parnell.