The Eskis newest acquisition is poised to make an impact.
Jason Forward was recently acquired by the Abitibi Eskimos of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
The 6’2″ 19-year-old began the 2011/12 season with the Kirkland Lake Blue Devils, where he had one goal and 12 points through 26 games. Forward left the Blue Devils for the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the Assiniboia Southern Rebels of the Prairie Junior Hockey League. He played a total of three games combined for the Red Wings and the Southern Rebels, managing to score a goal and assist.
The Eskis signed the free agent forward following his brief stint in Saskatchewan.
“He was in Kirkland Lake at first. He left Kirkland Lake because he didn’t like the organization,” said Paul Gagne, head coach of the Eskimos. “Last week or the week before he went to Weyburn, Saskatchewan. He signed as a junior ‘B’ card, an affiliate for them. We had been in contact with his father, so he came here as a free agent.”
He possesses a left handed shot, a large frame and can skate with the best of them.
“He’s a left handed shot, has great size and he’s a really smooth skater,” said Gagne. “He possesses a lot of speed and what we’ve seen so far is he’s passionate and really wants to play. He really wants to be part of the Eskimos.”
The Eskis currently sit six points out of first place in the eastern division of the NOJHL. In the last 10 games, the Eskis have gone 3-4 with three overtime losses. The team is hoping he can bring some much needed energy to the team.
“He’s going to be a hard working, finish your checks, forechecking forward,” said Gagne. “He’s going to bring in some energy for us. We’re needing energy in the offensive zone. He’s a big boy and he’ll have a presence on the ice every time.”
Forward has already practiced with his new team and seems to be fitting in nicely, explained Gagne.
Gagne wants to ease Forward into the Eskimos style of play.
“Right now we’re planning to use him on the wing, but that can always change,” said Gagne. “Having on the wing will make it easier on him, because the centreman needs to have a little more responsibility and for him to start understanding the program. He’ll play his first game today.”
The Eskis open a three game road swing tonight against the Soo Thunderbirds who currently lead the western division with a 25-5 record.