NOJHL playoff MVP returning to full-time role with Rock

Forward Harry Clark, shown battling for position with Voodoos defender Alex Little in front of the Powassan net during Game 2 of the NOJHL East Division semifinal series at the McIntyre Arena, will be back in a Timmins Rock uniform for the 2023-24 campaign. After rejoining the Rock late in the past season, being named the NOJHL’s playoff MVP and leading the Rock in goals at the 2023 Centennial Cup, Clark will be back for the full campaign. FILE PHOTO/THE DAILY PRESS jpg, apsmc

As the Timmins Rock begin to prepare for what they hope will be a successful defence of their NOJHL championship and a return trip to the Centennial Cup, they have taken another big step in that direction.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

TIMMINS – As the Timmins Rock begin to prepare for what they hope will be a successful defence of their NOJHL championship and a return trip to the Centennial Cup, they have taken another big step in that direction.

The club has announced the signing of 2023 NOJHL playoff MVP Harry Clark for the 2023-24 campaign.

Clark’s two goals — a power-play marker against the MHL’s Yarmouth Mariners in Game 1 and an even-strength tally against the LHJQ’s Cobras de Terrebonne in Game 2 — paced all Rock scorers at the 2023 Centennial Cup in Portage la Prairie, Man., in May.

“It was awesome, even pretty surreal just to get to watch how skilled all the other teams were, watching them practice and learning a few things, was very cool,” he said.

“Then, getting to go on the ice after a few days of practice and getting in our first game, we had a bunch of nerves going in because all those teams were very prestigious.

“Often the NOJ(HL) kind of gets looked down on but we played excellent and after that first game we were just able to keep on going and win a few games. It was nice.”

Clark was quick to share any credit for his individual success with his linemates during the tournament.

“I had some chemistry with my linemates,” he said.

“(Ethan) Pool did a great job in the games he played (before suffering an injury in Game 2), (Nicholas) Frederick, (Nolan) Ring, (Nicolas) Pigeon.

“They are all just great assist people, pass-first mentality, so I owe a lot of credit to them.”

Harry Clark jpg, TD, apsmc

Clark’s Centennial Cup success came after a playoff run (9, 4-4-8, 4) that garnered him most valuable player honours in the 2023 NOJHL post season.

“I was very honoured to get that accomplishment,” he said.

“Once again, I owe a lot of thanks to the guys for including me even though I joined so late in the season.

“Our coach, Brandon (Perry), showed some trust in me in some high-pressure moments.”

Clark’s Centennial Cup and NOJHL playoff accomplishments are even more remarkable given the 2023-birth-year right hand-shooting Timmins product was away from the Rock for almost the entirety of the 2022-23 regular season (4, 0-1-1, 0) while attending the University of Ottawa.

Remarkable, yes, but not surprising, as Clark (11, 4-10-14, 0) was the Rock’s leading scorer during the 2022 playoffs.

And the 5-11, 175-pound forward has been just as productive in parts of three previous NOJHL campaigns with the Rock (2019-20: 4, 1-1-2, 0; 2020-21: 22, 9-11-20, 6; 2021-22: 13, 9-8-17, 8).

“I didn’t get on the ice too much while I was at school, but they have a very nice gym facility, so I was able to stay in somewhat good shape but the cardio aspect, it took me a while to get that back,” Clark said.

“That was probably the thing that was the hardest. After a few weeks it came back and after that it was pretty good.”

Clark, a sociology major, will be taking a “lighter course load, online” this year while playing out his final year of Junior ‘A’ eligibility with the Rock.

He admitted the success he and the Rock had in the NOJHL playoffs and at the Centennial Cup was a significant factor in his decision.

“For sure, being able to have some individual success, as well as team success, winning our first NOJHL championship in Timmins, made me wonder what I could do with a full season under my belt,” Clark said.

As one of the elder statesmen on the Rock squad this coming season, Clark knows he will be looked to as one of the team’s leaders and it is a role he is looking forward to embracing.

“Being with the team so long, I have had so many leaders, guys I have looked up to, so it is going to be nice learn from what they did and be a role model for the younger players,” he said.

“At the same time, we have so many returning guys who are such good guys on and off the ice. There are going to be so many guys to look up to for the younger guys.

“It is going to be a good year.

One of the things that contributed to the Rock’s success in 2022-23 was having six players who participated in the 2022 Centennial Cup and Clark is confident having so many of his teammates back in 2023-24 will lead to even greater success.

“If we are able to get back to the Centennial Cup, we know what to expect,” he said.

“There should be less nerves and we should be able to get to our full capabilities right from the first puck drop.”

Clark realizes, of course, the Rock have to take things one step at a time and they can’t look too far into the future.

“At the same time, we want to have that in the back of our minds that that (getting back to the Centennial Cup) is our end goal,” he said.

“We just have to focus on the development camp right now and making the team, stuff like that, and then getting a few games under our belts.

“We are going to have to keep our heads on straight and focus on the task at hand.”

While Clark has experienced individual success in the regular season, the NOJHL playoffs and at the Centennial Cup, he isn’t setting any goals in terms of his offensive production in 2023-24.

“At the end of the day, it is nice to have some individual success but at the same time I would much rather win a game than score a goal,” he said.

“I think that’s what’s on everyone’s mind, winning games and hopefully earning a second-straight NOJHL championship, rather than focusing too much on individual success.”

Unlike the past two off-seasons, when he “wasn’t thinking too much about returning to hockey,” as he prepared for the start of full-time university study, this summer Clark will be focused on getting ready for the start of camp.

“I am working full-time at Weed Man, which is a pretty physical job, but I am also trying to get into the gym four or five times a week, do some weight lifting and cardio, stuff like that,” he said.

In his free time Clark likes to relax like most hockey players during the summer months.

“My friends and I all have golf memberships at Hollinger, so we are probably at the course three or four times a week golfing,” he said.

“A few of them have cottages, so we are out at the lake often, kind of just hanging out with the family.”

Clark appreciates the fan support the Rock receive throughout the season and he was glad they finally to the chance to celebrate with them during the recent parade and festivities at Hollinger Park.

“It was very surreal, having that many kids come up to you, look up to you and your families, a bunch of people you know, all come out to support you, even people who aren’t hockey fans,” he said.

“I think we owe a lot of our success to our fans because we have such a good fan base here in Timmins.”

The Rock will be looking to bolster their roster of returning Centennial Cup veterans when they hold their annual development camp at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby, from July 7-9.

Players attending will be evaluated during on-ice practice and game situations.

Cost of the camp is $250 per player. Anyone interested in participating can register at, or more information can be obtained by emailing