Like most teams in the Great North Midget League, it would seem, the Nickel City Sons are in a state of flux.
Only four players are returning from the team's 2011-2012 roster, with several GNML rookies likely to garner all sorts of opportunities to establish a reputation within the Midget AAA hockey ranks.
In fact, head coach Joel Whissell confirmed at practice on Tuesday evening in Azilda that the team remains in search of two more defencemen, carrying just four blueliners when the season opens with a northern swing for the Sons this coming weekend.
The youth movement begins in goal as Scott Vaillancourt moves up from the Copper Cliff Minor Midget Redmen while Kevin Labelle steps in after spending last year with the Nickel City Major AAA Bantams.
Nevada Waindubence will be leaned upon heavily on the back end, joined by Mitchell Payette, Alex St. Marseille and Ryan Fraser for the time being.
Up front, Malcolm Bilton (15-29-44) will be the go-to guy offensively, with both Michael Michel and Alex Forget benefiting from their GNML experience of one year ago.
If the Sons are to remain in the top half of league standings, some of the likes of Ryan Punkari, Sheldon Lalonde, Denver Ghent, Nathan Shane, Matthew Neault and Kurtis Clouthier will need to find a way on to the score sheet on a regular basis.
Nickel City travels north to face the Timmins Majors Saturday and Kapuskasing Flyers Sunday, with their home-opener slated for Oct. 6 at the Chelmsford Arena with the New Liskeard Cubs providing the opposition.