Fehérvár has gone through a lot of changes during the offseason after a campaign in which they surprised a number of people with the success the squad had in their first season back in the MOL League. The farm team for EBEL club Fehérvár AV19 has been rebranded as Fehérvári Titánok.
After the success that the coaching duo of Tyler Dietrich and Lajos Énekes had in the MOL League they were promoted to the EBEL. Taking their place was István Kóger and recently retired Ádám Z. Hegyi. Unlike every other club in the league the Titans are just a step in the later that take players from the academy to the EBEL squad. Because of this aside from the import players there is not that much player movement coming in and out from the club, the movement if more vertical.
One position for the second year in a row that Fehérvár can not cover from within the organization is goalie. Last season the starts were almost split evenly between Alex Scola and Janis Kalnins, Kalnins left for the KHL in the offseason, taking his place will be Adrien Lemay a recent college graduate who finished last season in the ECHL.
The team has a solid group of young defencemen made up of Gergely Korbuly, Tamás Láday, Attila Reiter, Bence Szabó and mark Szaller, players who have played in the EBEL and have been called into the national training camps in the past. However the hands down leader of the crew and the only import in the unit is Devon Krogh. Krogh had a great offensive season despite the injury that he had to fight through during the season.
Last season the goal scoring responsibilities were held by Mitch Holmberg, Chris Bodó, Brance Orbán and Preston Shupe, of this quartet only Shupe is back as Bodó and Orbán have been bumped up to the EBEL roster and Holmberg is in the ECHL. This means young Hungarians such as Ferenc Kocsis, Áron Reisz and Krisztián Szabó need to step up, along with new import Kyle Just. Look for teenagers Donát Szita and Dániel Vizi to chip in on the offensive end as well.
It will be hard for the team to repeat its third place regular season finish from 2016 but it is a roster that is familiar with each other, this is one aspect that can not be replicated.
Head Coach István Kóger: We are in front of a promising season, both Tyler and myself knew the young players very well since I coached the U20 team last season and a number of those players will be on the MOL League roster this season. I hope despite the coaching change with the EBEL team the cooperation between the EBEL staff, MOL League staff and the U20 staff will remain the same. We have two import forwards, one defenseman and two goalies. The Hungarian group is a mixed bag as next to the senior players we all have Florián Sándor who was born in 1999. This year we are emphasising the development of the younger players as we are trying to provide them with the most playing time as possible. We are trying to create competition for those 30 guys so we can get the best 22 on the ice. During the season we will have players going up and down between the MOL and the EBEL squads. We will have young energy all throughout the squad and our strength will be that we will skate a lot and will have a positive ambitious attitude. Ádám Hegyi really knows the players since he was still on the team last season. I think the upcoming seasons will be one of the best MOL League seasons of all time.
Preston Shupe, Forward: I really loved the city, the people, the people on the team and the organization in general. We had a great time here last year and I liked the core group of young guys that were coming back, so this was an easy decision. The coaching staff has done a great job easing us into the new system and new culture here but so far everything is going well. It happens a lot in hockey that someone will start to coach their former players, Ádám Z. Hegyi knows the game well, he is a good guy and well respected. I hope to help the young guys who are starting out their careers and mentor them like older players did this when I was younger. Last season the league was competitive and it has gotten better it will be tough season. So far it looks like the new imports fit in fine, it looks like Kyle Just and me have some good chemistry we have some good goalies in Lemay and Scola and of course Devon Krogh is back again.
*Expert Opinion: The biggest change that the team has gone through is the coaching change. Tyler Dietrich had worked with a large group of the guys since they were 16-17 years old. He know each player could be used in the team and how to motivate each one. The question is if a new coach con continues what he had built up. The roster has pretty much stayed the same except for the imports. This year like last season it will be a fast young team that can skate well. Last year a number of players were making their senior team debut, the one year experience on the back end will really help them. It will be hard for them to replace the scoring that has left in Orbán, Bodó and Holmberg.
*Recently retired former MOL League player
Goalies: Adrien LEMAY, Alex SCOLA
Defencmen: ARANY Máté, IMRE Patrik, KORBULY Gergely, Devon KROGH, LÁDAY Tamás, ANTAL Arnold, REITER Attila, SZABÓ Bence, SZALLER Márk, SZABÓ Dániel, TAKÁCS Bence, SÁNDOR Flórián,
Forwards: BALOGH Bence, ERDEI Zoltán, HAMVAI Szilárd, Kyle JUST, KOCSIS Ferenc, MAZZAG Dániel, PILLÓK Martin, PRÁCSER Ádám, REISZ Áron, REITER Richárd, Preston SHUPE, SOFRON Ádám, SZABÓ Krisztián, SZÁSZ Norbert, SZITA Donát, VARGA Balázs, VIZI Dániel, KISS Partik, TÓTH Renátó
Head coach: Kóger István
Assitant coach: Hegyi Ádám
Additions: LEMAY Adrien (Wichita, ECHL), JUST Kyle (Tilburg, Oberliga), SOFRON Ádám (SC Csíkszereda)
Departures: KALNINS Janis (Dinamo Riga, KHL), LENGYEL Levente (Ferencvárosi TC), PADOS László (Debreceni HK), BECZE Tihamér (DAB), HOLMBERG Mitch (Wichita, ECHL), TÓTH Gergő (UTE), HEGYI Ádám Z. (retired), GRIEVE Alex (unknown)