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Hoelscher hoping to get back up to speed after lengthy injury layoff

February 1, 2022

After spending the first nine weeks of the season away with a knee injury, Mitchell Hoelscher returned to the Belleville Senators’ lineup on Friday in impressive fashion. He achieved yet another major step notching his first point post-injury with an assist.
“It was a long process getting back. The staff in Belleville was great,” Hoelscher said, praising team Athletic Therapists Craig Belfer and Kevin Kozai in particular.
The 22-year-old centreman did as much as possible to speed his recovery, including skating in six games with the Senators’ ECHL affiliate, the Atlanta Gladiators. He collected ten points (three goals, seven assists) while on a conditioning loan.
Hoelscher had nothing but positive things to say about the Gladiators’ organization. “Atlanta was great. They’re professional down there. I thought I had a good start for those six games and want to build on that.”
Despite his injury, Hoelscher remains optimistic and is grateful for the opportunity Head Coach Troy Mann has afforded him over the past two seasons.
“He communicates really well with his players. He’ll let you know what you’re doing right or wrong; it’s an open policy with him. He’s great at communicating.”
Hoelscher first joined the B-Sens on an amateur tryout agreement in 2020-21, as COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancelation of the OHL campaign. He got into seven games and tallied his first AHL point (an assist).
“I was fortunate enough that Belleville gave me an opportunity to play those seven games. It was a great experience. I had to work really hard this summer coming into camp,” Hoelscher said, who signed a standard two-way AHL contract in August to staying with the organization.
For the Waterloo, Ontario native, working with the coaching staff is one of the significant incentives of playing in the Friendly City. He noted their assistance in his transition to the professional ranks. (He was a major-junior standout with the Ottawa 67’s. In his final season, he scored 72 points, including 34 goals, and posted an impressive plus-52 rating over 62 games).
In a season that has been anything but predictable, the organization is certainly glad to have the consistency and determination that Hoelscher brings back in the lineup.
He’s got a good work ethic, and his hockey IQ is very good,” Mann said. “He can certainly contribute in all areas. He’s solid on faceoffs and can play on the penalty kill. He is a real good depth player for us.”
(Submitted by: Joel Vanderlaan / @JoelVanderlaan)