Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - Submitted by Adrenaline Staff
The Adelaide Adrenaline, proudly presented by Hards Transport, have announced the return of fan-favourite import forward Cole MacMillan. He will be the only returning import on the Adrenaline this season and one of "five or six" imports that could see time on the ice with Adelaide in 2017.
It was an interesting maiden AIHL season for MacMillan. He tallied seven goals and 18 assists in 28 games. He will once again be sponsored by Carol Hunter Psychology.
After a slew of injuries and suspensions, MacMillan found himself playing defense for half the season despite never playing the position in his career before. The Adrenaline plan to use him exclusively as a forward this season and expect his production to increase as well.
Cole says he would not have returned if he did not think the Adrenaline could win a Goodall Cup.
"We can turn it around. I don't think we are far off any other team despite finishing at the bottom of the ladder last season," he says. "It's a new season with a new coach and fresh start. It's a tight competitive league."
MacMillan enjoyed a three-year career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with Moncton and Chicoutimi. He played four seasons on University hockey in the CIS with the UPEI Panthers where he captained the team.
He has been using his Canadian experience to help lead the team through off-ice training. This is something that head coach Sami Mantere has said has added great value.
"it's been great having Cole come back. The intensity Cole is training with is forcing everyone else to go harder," say Mantere. "I'm confident we can get more out of Cole during the season as well."
MacMillan says he thinks a year experience - and a season where he plays only at forward - will help his offensive production.
"I think fans can expect my style to change this year with an AIHL season under my belt. I've got a feel for the league and style of play and should be able to hopefully adjust my game to contribute more offensively," he says.
But MacMillan is not the only player with high expectations of himself this season. Reigning AIHL MVP Wehebe Darge was "stoked" to hear the news of Cole resigning.
"I know his point production was not where he wanted it but he is the kind of import you want sticking around for a long time," Darge said from England. "I'm excited to have him back. He is a great guy in the room and someone that would not be back if he didn't think we can win this thing."
"I hope he sticks around past this season. He can be an impact player in this league for a long time."
After last season Cole spent some time traveling around Australia and Indonesia before doing rural work to earn a second visa. He says he loved his time in Adelaide last season and would not play anywhere else.
"At this point I would only play for Adelaide. Once you become invested in a team your sense of loyalty towards that club grows. Makes it difficult to change colours and support anyone else," he says.
"This organisation is full of great people who want to win - from the players and staff to the fans that come out to support. It's fun to be part of that atmosphere. I want to give back to our great community with the on ice performance they deserve."
Cole will suit up for the Adrenaline in the home opener on April 22 vs. the Newcastle North Stars.
Memberships are already on sale. Single game tickets to the first three games of the season will be on sale exclusively to members beginning March 22.