BRYAN WILSON – 05.10.2023
It’s been a strong start to the postseason for Wranglers’ defenceman Nick DeSimone.
Like, really strong.
The East Amherst, N.Y., native currently leads the team in playoff scoring with five points (1g, 4a) in four games, including a three-point effort in Game 2 against the Abbotsford Canucks.
DeSimone matched his career-high in points this season with 46 (8g, 38a) and notched 18 points (3g,15a) in his last 15 games heading into the playoffs. He credits the group around him for finding success on the scoresheet this season.
“We had such a great team this year and had a lot of success in the regular season,” said DeSimone. “So, obviously when you have great players on your team, and you have a great team overall, usually everybody reaps the benefits.”
As the Wranglers prepare themselves for the Pacific Division Finals – where they’ll square off against the Coachella Valley Firebirds in a best-of-five series that starts Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome (tickets) – DeSimone feels good about his game right now and likes where the group is at heading into the series.
“I think we’re a confident group. We know what we’re capable of when we bring it,” he said. “It’s just a matter of bringing it from the first puck drop tomorrow and play our game.”
The Wranglers clinched the Pacific Division and earned top spot in the AHL standings this season, just three points ahead of the Firebirds, which was an important and hard-fought goal to attain for the group.
“Obviously, you have individual and team goals going into the season. You try not to think about it too much, but you try to attain those throughout the year,” DeSimone explained.
“As a team you want to make the playoffs … we wanted to clinch first place and that was tough…. eventually we did that.”
For DeSimone and the Wranglers, the goal now is to continue their quest to the Calder Cup finals and – if DeSimone has his way – they’ll stick around for the long run.
“It’s awesome. It’s been a lot of fun so far and we hope that we’re here for a while still,” he said. “I know everybody says it, but we have such a tight-knight group that it makes it a lot of fun coming to the rink every day.”