The Nelson Junior Leafs aim to put up a good fight against the Fernie Ghostriders on Saturday with the return of one of their leading scorers.
“We’re very pleased to have Patrick [Martens] back,” said Frank Maida, Leafs head coach.
Martens, who left the Leafs in November to join the BCHL with the Langley Rivermen, returned earlier this week to Nelson to once again play with the Leafs.
Maida said after Martens was released from the Rivermen earlier this week, he had some time to think about it and he decided to come back.
At the time he signed with Langley, Martens led the Leafs in scoring with 22 goals in 21 games.
“I think the team is excited to have him back and he’s going to really help make the final push here and into the playoffs,” said Maida, adding that he’s hoping to have Martens ready for Saturday’s tilt against Fernie.
Maida said they’ve not yet discussed what line Martens will play on yet, but he said they will “do what’s best.”
Martens played the beginning of the season on the same line as Colton Schell and Matthew Naka, which made for an effective trio. Since then, the line of Nik Newman, Brett Norman and James Sorrey has also proven themselves capable of capitalizing on scoring opportunities.
The Leafs also added defenseman Andrew Miller to the roster.
“We needed to find a defenseman and Andrew’s been playing well as an affiliate player and we’ve made the decision to commit to Andrew for the remainder of the year,” said Maida.
Going into Saturday’s game, Maida said they’re concentrating on the “little things” and playing their system for the entire 60 minutes.
“It’s always a good game against Fernie. We’ve played them previously, last year a few times in the playoffs and there’s a good rivalry there,” he said.
“We’re just excited to get into a game and come out and play our game.”
With the January 10 deadline to firm up rosters now gone, the current line-up is the one the Leafs will finish the season with.
Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Nelson and District Community Complex.