Snipers Resignings: The Offense
By Jason Felts
After a historic 2018-19 season that saw franchise-highs in wins, points, and goals, the Dallas Snipers focused on keeping a strong core of reliable players to move into the 2019-20 season. With a blend of international and local returners, this group of returners looks for similar success coming into what could be one of the most pivotal years in the franchise's history, finally turning the corner from an overlooked Mid-Western Division team to a potential Thorne Cup competitor. Welcoming, the 2019-20 returning centers and forwards:
Daniel Holcomb - A Dallas native, Holcomb saw sporadic time in 26 games for the Snipers last season. One of the youngest members on the team last year, the Snipers are excited to see Holcomb's improvement over the next few years, and will look for Holcomb to add solid depth on either side of the puck. A hard worker that's itching for a larger role within the organization, look for Holcomb to continue to improve and find himself in more positions to succeed this season.
Karsten Portell - Alongside defenseman Arvidas Domeika, Portell is the longest tenured Sniper returning for the 2019-20 season. On the cusp of his third full season with the team, Dallas has been thrilled to see Portell's maturation while in Dallas. Another local Texan, Portell has put up 32 points in Snipers blue (including this highlight from last season), and always seems to find himself in the right place at the right time. Playing both forward and center, expect Portell to continue to take larger roles and more minutes this season.
Michael Fatta - Yet another Dallas local, Fatta came alive in the back half of 2018-19. The 6'2, 235 forward uses his big frame to work his way into good scoring positions, and has the poise to bury shots when needed. After a 23 point season, 7 of which coming on the powerplay, Fatta will be a key cog to this Snipers offense who looks to retain some of the same success from the season prior. If the end of last season is any kind of an indicator for some of these returners, be ready for big things out of the Big Guy.
Nick Fritz - A fan favorite for a reason, Fritz played in 33 games for the Snipers last season and made himself known in each and every one. The first announced signing at the start of the 2018-19 season, Fritz has helped user in a new, more physical style of play from the Snipers, and will bring that same intensity into the 2019-20 season. A player whose value extends far past the stat sheet, Fritz might not light up the score sheet, but his physicality is infectious, and was a crucial tool in tough games for Dallas down the stretch last year. Best advice for when Fritz is on the ice, be sure to keep an eye on him, especially if you're on the other team.
Ryan Nicks - A late addition to the team last year, Snipers fans didn't get a huge opportunity to watch Nicks play in just his 17 games last year, but the organization is excited to bring him back for a full year in Snipers blue this season. A skilled skater, Nicks uses his speed and agility to get ahead of breaks, and will look to be a tricky mark for any defender in the Mid-Western Division. Plus, he has the clutch gene, scoring his first WSHL goal as the go-ahead series-winning goal in Dallas' 3-2 victory over the Wichita Jr. Thunder in the playoffs last season.
Stamos Giatrakis - Another player without a ton of film, Giatrakis was a plucky Dallas forward that the Snipers added to bring depth to the position last season. After appearing in a handful of games in the early parts of the 2018-19 season, Giatrakis lost time after being on the wrong end of a few big hits, and has spent the off-season bulking up and preparing for a bigger role this upcoming season. Another one of the youngest players on the roster, Giatrakis will continue to grow into more of a leadership role as time progresses, and adds strong depth to a stacked forward position for Dallas in 2019-20.
TJ Thompson - Entering his 3rd season in Dallas, Thompson saw his minutes skyrocket last season after showing worth on all sides of the puck. The only returner with starts at every position except for goalie, Thompson is an all-around gamer that brings intensity into each contest. Someone who will never back down from an opponent, look for Thompson to continue to dominate on both offense and defense for Dallas, as Coach Davis and Coach Jaskiewicz are excited to utilize TJ's skillset wherever the Snipers need him.
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