After a banner 2021-22 season, the Windsor Spitfires are back in action Saturday at the WFCU Centre.
Kameron Seguin said he thinks the Spitfires will be one of the teams to beat this season.
"I think the [Ontario Hockey League] Western Conference is pretty wide open this year," he said. "I think there are a couple of teams that are probably going to look to contend, but I think we're right at the top of that list."
The Spitfires posted 44 wins and 17 losses in the regular season. They made it all the way to the OHL playoffs but lost to the Hamilton Bulldogs in Game 7 of the final series.
Seguin is a superfan who attends every home game.
"I've been a season ticket holder with the Spitfires since I was, I think, eight years old," said Seguin.
Head Coach Marc Savard said the team is really excited about the upcoming season.
"We we had a great season last year. We fell one short of going to the [Canadian Hockey League national championship] Memorial Cup. We got a lot of guys back, and a lot of guys are a year older, and we're really excited about the the season ahead," he said.
The team is kicking off the season without two star players: Wyatt Johnston and Matt Maggio, who are at NHL training camps.
"They were fantastic last year," said Savard.
But their absence also means that other players will get a chance to step up, he said.
Seguin also pointed out this silver lining.
"While they're gone, the youngsters are going to get a chance to play in prominent roles and I think they'll be up for the challenge," he said.
Goalie Joey Costanzo thinks the team is going to have a great year, and they'll be playing with a chip on their shoulder given last year's outcome.
"Everyone in there has a competitive mindset and we're hungry to win this year," he said. "So we're going to go out there every day and do our best, win a championship."
Defenceman Michael Renwick is in his last season with the team. He is day-to-day with an upper body injury but hopes to get the OK to play again soon.
"I'm really looking forward to the group of guys we got here. We've got some great players, some great new players, and a lot guys have made some strides in the off-season to really elevate their game," he said.
The Windsor Spitfires take on the Sarnia Sting in their home opener at the WFCU Centre in Windsor on Saturday. A pre-game carnival starts at 3 p.m.