Niagara Predators Jr. A Hockey Club
August 2, 2023
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Predators owner and GM Robert Turnbull

he Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League’s (GMHL) Niagara Predators are gearing up for their third season playing out of Virgil’s Meridian Credit Union Arena this fall. 

The team is holding a series of open skates for interested players August 15, 16 and 17 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the new Canada Games Park located next to Brock University. Cost to participate in the sessions is $20.

“We’ve actually been skating all summer at the Gale Centre,” says team president and owner Robert Turnbull. “This gives us a chance to look at some players we maybe haven’t seen on the ice yet.”

The Preds went 20-18-4 and finished in fourth place in the GMHL’s South Division last season. They beat the St. George Ravens two games to one in the first playoff round before being swept in three straight in a tough series against the North York Renegades.


Returning players Timur Mirzaiants, Reese Bisci, Logan Baillie and goaltenders Warren Krogman and Zane Clausen, among others, have re-signed with the team. In addition, 2023 draft picks Nicholas Nicoletti, Aiden Jones and goaltender Mike Mankowski have also committed to playing in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

“It looks like we will have a really good team this year,” says Turbull. “Our two Russians, Georgy Kholmovsky and Georgii Kodzaev, their visas and work permits came through. Both players were on the roster last year but their paperwork never came through.”

 Turnbull, who owned both the Predators and the Ravens the past two seasons, sold the St. George team in the off-season. That frees him up to take on a more active role this year on as the general manager, with Andrew Ferlatte assuming the role of vice president of hockey operations. 

“I’ll be doing all the contracts,” Turnbull explains, “while Andrew will be strictly handling all of the players.”


Following the open skate sessions, the Preds will hold their annual prospect camp from August 21 to 24, 6:30 to 8:00 pm, also at Canada Games Park. Again, the cost is $20 to participate.

“The prospect camp gives us a chance to look at players who want to try out for the team,” he explains. “Our returning and signed players will be there as well.”

The Predators’ main camp, by invitation only, is scheduled for the following week, August 28 through 31, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. There is no cost to those invited to participate. 

The league’s schedule begins earlier this year. The GMHL has traditionally had a mid-October start, but Turnbull expects the season to begin the third week of September. 

“We’re happy to be back,” Turnbull says of the return to the Meridian Credit Union Arena for their Friday night home games. “The staff there has always been good to us.”`

The GMHL’s 2023-2024 schedule is expected to be released late next week.