The first-ever edition of the NAHL Eagles will include first-year tenders, draft picks and acquisitions plus several veterans from the 2011-12 Traverse City squad.
"Having a good core of players with NAHL experience who played in Traverse City definitely impacted the way we recruited for the upcoming season," said Bragagnolo. "We wanted to find some really good and talented players who could also be a nice compliment to the players who were coming over from Traverse City. Our scouting staff of Tom Farnquist and John Wiseman did a great job of searching all over the country."
Veteran forwards Jared Van Wormer, Alex Taulien, Chris Waterstreet, Eric Rivard, Jake Peacock and Kyle Loridon have all made the move from Traverse City.
Van Wormer led TC in scoring during the 2011-12 season with 46 points in 59 games.
The Eagles also have an ace in the hole in rugged right winger Dallas McLaughlin, a 5-foot-8 ball of fire who potted 36 goals as an NOJHL rookie with the Eagles last season. McLaughlin, a 1993 birth year, is not considered a Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association prospect as of yet because of academic issues. But look for McLaughlin to make an impact as an NAHL rookie and become a player who eventually warrants the attention of next-level leagues.
Another rookie forward of projected note is Michael Sabatini, who was a 10th-round pick of Soo Greyhounds at the 2011 Ontario Hockey League draft. Sabatini is a power forward who is already on the radar of the Division 1 recruiters.
On the blueline, the Eagles have four veteran defensemen who Bragagnolo expects to be at the top of the rotation. They include Traverse City holdovers Nathan Harris and Kyle Froese and junior hockey veterans Michael Lant and Cody von Rueden.
Alex Robert, the Eagles first-round pick at this year's NAHL draft and fellow 1995 birth year howitzer Patrick Gazzillo are rookie defensemen with huge upsides. Gazzillo was a ninth-round pick of Kitchener Rangers at the 2011 OHL draft.
The Eagles will begin the season with two junior hockey veterans in goal with Tyler Marble and Zach Nagelvoort.
Marble, a 1992 birth year who has a Division 1 commitment from the Lake Superior State Lakers for the 2013-14 term, played in the Ontario Jr. Hockey League last season. Nagelvoort, a 1994 birth year, is another player who the Eagles inherited from Traverse City.
"We have a lot of confidence in both goaltenders. We feel like both will get the job done and both have looked great in camp to date," Bragagnolo said evenly.