There’s been a flurry of early July signings and player moves by the Cornwall Jr. A Colts.
And one that has head coach Ian MacInnis very excited about the team’s future has forward Kobe Tallman in the stable; a local player but one who moved away, and played at a high level the last two seasons in Toronto.
“He came back to the branch as a free agent,’’ MacInnis said. “He’s got good size, he’s a strong guy – he’ll need to contribute (in 2019-20),” MacInnis said.
Tallman is excited about the opportunity that’s being presented to him. He’s a young prospect – Tallman, who’s 6-foot, 200 pounds and plays right wing, has been a 16-year-old for just over four months.
But the Colts have some spots to fill up front, especially considering some high-profile recent departures of veteran forwards who are moving on to the United States Hockey League.
MacInnis confirmed the departures of Josh Barnes and Konnor MacCormick, who’ll both skate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Tristan Poissant, who’s joined Youngstown, Ohio.
But Tallman has been signed for the 2019-20 season, and he’s not the only new player already in the fold, with training camp for the Central Canada Hockey League club still well over a month away.
The Colts also inked goalie Jakob Robillard this week, acquired in a trade last month. Robillard spent the last two seasons with the Hawkesbury Hawks U18 program, and last year he compiled a record of 11-10-5, with a goals against average of 2.58 and save percentage of .912.
In 2018, Robillard was a Barrie Colts pick in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
Late this week, the Colts made a big trade, sending defenceman Benjamin Dirven to the Brockville Braves in exchange for three players. In return, the Colts get forwards Christophe Cote and Emerick Nadeau, and blueliner Jackson Hay.
The Colts have also said goodbye to Danny Griffith, a blueliner, who moves over to Grand Rapids of the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
For Tallman, skating for Cornwall means playing for a club he grew up watching. And even last season while based in Toronto, he caught some Colts action, as his older brother Parker suited up for Cornwall.
“I’m very excited (to sign),” Kobe Tallman said. “I’ve always been a Colts fan, my whole family would come to the games.”
Tallman last season suited up for the Toronto Nationals minor midget AAA squad, scoring 24 goals and adding 32 assists for 56 points in 66 games.
Tallman was drafted in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, going to the Oshawa Generals in the 13th round.
“He’s good below the circles in the offensive zone,” MacInnis said. “He’s got a good, heavy shot.”
Tallman’s minor hockey background includes suiting up in the South Stormont association, with the Seaway Valley Rapids and later the Eastern Ontario Wild AAA organization.
Tallman was still just 13 when he moved to Toronto and billeted with family, his playing career in the big city including lining up for the North York Rangers.