GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Griffins are excited to drop the puck on the franchise's 25th season on Friday night at Van Andel Arena.
This season's roster is led by a combination of youth and experience, including 21-year-old prospects Jared McIsaac and center Jonatan Berggren.
The team will also welcome back center and former first round pick Joe Veleno and wing Taro Hirose after they were assigned to the team on Monday afternoon.
As a whole, fourth year head coach Ben Simon is excited for the balance between veterans and prospects on the team.
"They're talented," Simon said after Monday's practice, "we have a number of young kids coming up through the system that are extremely talented, but they have a little bit of a road ahead of them. They need to put the time in the weight room, time in the coaches and they'll continue to get better."
Captain Brian Lashoff returns as the team also welcomes in Holland native and defenseman Luke Witkowski.
"We have a great group of character guys, the older guys help with that," Simon added, "just helping the young guys be pros and how to act on a daily basis, both at the rink and away from it, when you combine that, it's a good recipe for success."