Abitibi Eskimos centre Jordan Delaurier will be one of two Northern Ontario Junior ‘A’ Hockey League players suiting up for Team East during the 2011 CJHL Prospects Games.
Delaurier and Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Fraser Turner will be part of the squad that takes to the ice at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C., on Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s a great honour for Jordan, for sure, he has worked hard for it,” said Eskimos coach and general manager Paul Gagne.
“I’ve had the experience of being an assistant coach there last year.
“As soon as he puts on that sweater and plays for Team Canada, he’s going to have an incredible feeling.
“It’s a prestigious tournament. There are scouts from all over the place. Every league there is.
“There will be a lot of NHL scouts and the reason for it is they are drafting more and more players out of the CJHL.”
As a result of his participation in the tournament, Delaurier will be missing from the Eskimos lineup on Thursday night in North Bay and on Saturday night at the Jus Jordan Arena when the Sudbury Cubs travel to Iroquois Falls.
“Jordan is a player who makes his presence felt every time he is on the ice,” Gagne said.
“I think he is going to excel when he gets there to the prospects game.”
The coach views Delaurier as a well-rounded player who has earned his ice time this season.
”Defensively, he is very conscientious of his defensive game,” Gagne said.
“A lot of times he is our shut-down guy, checking first-line players from other teams.
“In the defensive zone he is conscientious and takes pride in his plus-minus rating.
“He’ll score some goals, but not like a first-line centreman, or a second-line centreman.
“He’ll get your dirty goals, in front of the net, but all in all, he’s just a great, great kid.”
Delaurier has scored three goals and added 13 assists, to go along with 36 penalty minutes, in the Eskimos’ first 18 games this season.
“He loves the game and he plays to win, every night,” Gagne said. “This year, he is a little bit more mature.
“Last year, he would get a little bit excited. Every time he was on the ice his anticipation was a little bit too high.
“He was a little antsy. His stick handling was going 100 miles an hour and he would get in the corner first, instead of staying between the net and his man.”