As the 2020-21 season continues to approach come puck drop in February, the Kitchener Rangers announced on Thursday afternoon the acquisition of Canadian right-winger Jack Wismer. Wismer was acquired from the Flint Firebirds in exchange for Kitchener’s 15th round pick in next year’s draft.
It is a conditional pick heading back to the Firebirds for the right-handed shooter. Speaking of which, Wismer was a second-round selection of the organization back in 2016. He was chosen 41st overall in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.
Since then, he’s amassed 107 points, scoring 48 goals along with 59 assists. He’s racked up these totals in 197 games. A native of Stoney Creek, Ontario, Wismer put up 27 goals along with 27 assists in 2019-20. He did this through 54 games before the season was halted due to COVID-19.
In a statement from Mike McKenzie, head coach of the Kitchener Rangers, he said of the 20-year-old forward, “We are excited to welcome Jack to the Rangers. He will be a great addition to our team once the season begins. He has shown the ability to score and produce at the OHL level.”
Speaking more to Wismer’s offensive side, McKenzie said of how he benefits the Rangers, “He plays a hard-nosed game and isn’t shy about going to the hard areas of the ice to score goals and create chances. We look forward to seeing him in a Ranger uniform.”
Wismer joins a remodelled roster following numerous exits at the end of the season. This includes forwards Serron Noel, Liam Hawel, Greg Meireles, Jonathan Yantsis and Riley Damiani. As well, they lost backstop Jacob Ingham while parting ways with Lucas Pfeil and Axel Bergkvist.
Now, in the midst of a revamp, Wismer joins winger Trent Swick as well as his teammates, Andrew and Jacob LeBlanc. Another new face to the hockey club is Pavel Cajan from the Czech Republic. With a new batch of faces signed to contracts, the team will look to start forming chemistry upon clearance from the league, hence the beginning of training camp.
According to OHL Insiders, the Firebirds, back in June, were seeking a second-round pick for Jack Wismer. Speaking of the team’s new addition, head coach Mike McKenzie said via email to The Puck Authority, “We are excited to add Jack. Even though the season is delayed, the chance to add a player of his caliber was too good to pass on. We really like the way he plays and think he will be a great addition to our team and provide our younger forward group with a veteran presence.”
With games scheduled to start February 4th, full team skates will take place starting January 25th. As announced in the revised return-to-play plan, the schedule will now consist of 40 games while physical contact remains up in the air. Teams will face those closest geographically in an effort to ensure the health and safety of everyone. As such, the expectation is the league will open the season with no fans in attendance.
In a statement from commissioner David Branch, he said with regards to the league’s current objective, “Although we are eager to get back on the ice, the safety and well-being of our players, staff, officials, tremendous fans and communities remains paramount. We remain committed to providing our players with a safe, first-class development experience as they pursue their professional and academic goals, and we look forward to the planned opening of our Regular Season on Thursday, February 4.”