The Timmins Rock have acquired forwards Brady Harroun, left, and Ethan Pool from the Red Lake Miners, of the Superior International Junior Hockey League, in exchange for a player development fee. The duo from St. Albert, AB, were part of the Red Lake team that won the SIJHL championship and competed in the 2022 Centennial Cup tournament. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Timmins Rock have acquired two key members of the Red Lake Miners’ Superior International Junior Hockey League championship squad.
Brady Harroun and Ethan Pool, a pair of 2002-birth-year forwards from St. Albert, AB, are headed to Timmins in exchange for a player development fee.
“The biggest thing about both of them is they won a championship last year and played in the Centennial Cup,” said Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry.
“I think that experience is invaluable. They are guys who have done it. They have won and they know what it takes to win.”
It is the latest in a series of moves designed to allow the Rock to ice a championship-calibre squad in 2022-23.
Offensively, Harroun is the more intriguing of the two new Rock forwards.
During the 2021-22 SIJHL campaign, Harroun (37, 25-26-51, 54) finished ninth in the SIJHL scoring race — second among non-graduating players.
His totals included 10 power-play goals and four game-winning goals.
Harroun followed that up with a solid 2022 playoff run (12, 5-4-9, 4) that helped the Miners advance to the 2022 Centennial Cup tournament, where they finished with a record of 0-4-0 — similar to the NOJHL champion Soo Thunderbirds.
During Centennial Cup action, Harroun (4, 3-2-5, 0) was the Miners’ leading scorer.
“Obviously, his offensive ability is something we had been looking to bring in here,” Perry said.
“He is a top-end guy and if you look at the players we lost from last year, the biggest one (Rock leading scorer) Tyler Schwindt and the production he had (48, 34-30-64, 36).
“We think Brady can come in here and be a 30-goal guy, so that’s a big void Brady is going to fill.
“We are certainly excited to have him.”
Harroun, who stands 6-0, weighs 190 pounds and shoots left, joined the Miners during the 2020-21 campaign (4, 2-4-6, 4), after graduating from the St. Albert Crusaders (NAHL U18) program (32, 47-23-70, 76).
On the surface, Pool’s statistics (32, 10-16-26, 45) might not be as compelling as his long-time team, but Perry became more impressed with him the more he saw of his game film.
At 5-10 and 185 pounds, the right-shooting Pool is slightly smaller than Harroun but according to Perry he has speed to burn.
“After watching Ethan on video, he is a fast player,” he said. “Man he can skate.
“I think he is going to be a great addition to our lineup, as well.”
Like his teammate, Pool (7, 2-2-4, 0) turned in a solid performance during the Miners’ 2022 playoff run.
That continued during the Centennial Cup tournament (4, 0-1-1, 0).
“We are certainly excited to have both of these guys,” Perry said.
“They have a winning pedigree and I think that is going to bode well in our lineup, in terms of leadership.”
Earlier in the offseason, the Rock made a deal with the OJHL’s Trenton Golden Hawks to reacquire 2003-birth-year forward Daniel Beaupre in exchange for a player development fee.
Beaupre, a 5-10, 180-pound, right-shooting North Vancouver, B.C., product started the 2021-22 campaign with the Rock (21, 5-5-10, 6) before being dealt to the Golden Hawks (14, 0-1-1, 0) at the Jan. 10 CJHL trade deadline.
“Beaups isn’t a guy we necessarily wanted to move last year at the deadline, but Trenton was looking for a guy and they were the team that had put him on our radar after he was in camp with them,” Perry said.
“I was really close with the coach and GM in Trenton at the time and he said, ‘Hey, you should really give this kid a look.’
“So, when they called at the deadline, they really needed to fill a gap.
“Now, with the turnover in Trenton, a new GM and new coach, he (Beaupre) was the odd man out.
“It was a no-brainer for us to bring him back here.”
The Rock have also bolstered their offence by signing three 2004-birth-year forwards — Liam Kelly, Evan Grigor and Hayden Rynard — as well as 2005-birth-year forward Yenri Jibb.
Kelly (27, 12-11-23, 28), a 5-11, 174-pound, left-shooting Witless Bay, NL, product, spent the 2021-22 campaign with the East Coast Blizzard U18 ‘AAA’ squad of the NLU18MHL.
He also proved effective in the team’s limited playoff run (6, 1-1-2, 0).
Kelly broke into the NLU18MHL with the Blizzard during the 2020-21 campaign (regular season: 20, 10-7-17, 24; playoffs: 9, 2-4-6, 8).
“Liam is a kid who is coming to us from the East Coast, Newfoundland, and he is a potential scorer,” Perry said.
“He scored a lot of goals in midget (U18) and he loves to score goals.
“We are hoping he can come in and do just that for us.
“He is another kid who came to our camp in June, showed really well and seems to fit the character and the mold we are trying to bring in here.”
Grigor (30, 10-4-14, 33), a 5-11, 170-pound, left-shooting Milton, ON, product spent the 2021-22 season with the Hamilton Huskies, of the ALLIANCE ‘AAA’ U18 League.
He was held off the scoresheet during his squad’s brief playoff run (4, 0-0-0, 4).
“Evan is going to bring some depth to our lineup,” Perry said.
“He is a kid who came to camp in Whitby in June. He was a good U18 player with the Hamilton Huskies.
“He is big, he is strong, he competes and I think the sky is the limit for him.
“He has got great character and he is a mature young kid.
“Two years ago, he was playing ‘AA’ hockey and he is a guy who continues to work and work and work and move his way up.
“That is what we hope he brings to our lineup, just a workmanlike attitude.
“His family was up last weekend visiting Timmins, seeing the facilities and getting to know everybody.”
Rynard (31, 7-6-13, 6), a 6-2, 170-pound, right-shooting Courtice, ON, product comes to the Rock from former coach Corey Beer’s Okanagan Hockey Ontario U18 Prep program of the CSSHLE U18.
During the playoffs, Rynard (4, 1-1-2, 2) continued to show potential offensive upside.
“Hayden is a kid who is coming to us from Okanagan, obviously with the connection there with Corey Beer,” Perry said.
“His biggest strength, I would say, is his hockey IQ. He plays a very systematic game.
“He lets the structure help his game. You have guys who play loose within a system, especially offensive guys, but Hayden is a kid who is going to do exactly as he is told and thrive within the system, within the structure.
“He is a big kid who is strong and can protect the puck really well, has a good shot.
“Practicing with us every day, I think he is going to turn into quite the young player.”
Jibb (20, 8-7-15, 18), a 5-9, 161-pound, right-shooting Oshawa native, spent the 2021-22 campaign with the Oshawa Generals, of the ETAHL ‘AAA’ U18.
In addition, he average almost a point a game during the 2022 playoffs (6, 2-3-5, 2).
“Yenri played for the Oshawa U18 team last year and he is an incredibly skilled young player,” Perry said.
“I think the sky is the limit for this kid.
“If we are comparing him, I see a lot of (Rock forward) Harry Clark in him.
“That’s a huge compliment but he definitely brings that type of skill set, quick hands, quick shot. He likes to play with the puck.
“I think he is going to fit in great in our system here.”
The Rock have also bolstered their goaltending depth, adding 2006-birth-year puck stopper Jacob Brown — a selection of the Flint Firebirds (fourth round, 80th overall) in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection.
A 6-1, 176-pound, left-hand catching Yarker, ON, product, Brown (one shutout, 2.62 goals against average) spent the 2021-22 campaign with the Greater Kingston Gaels, of the ETAHL ‘AAA’ U16.
He also saw action in four playoff games (2.25 goals against average).
Brown will join Patrick Boivin, whom the Rock acquired from the Blind River Beavers on June 13, and Josh Briand in the battle for crease time in 2022-23.
“Jacob is special,” Perry said.
“He is really, really good. He is a big kid and I played with his goalie coach, Mike Murphy and he is the one who brought him up to me.
“We had a chat with him and he said he would love to come up to Timmins.
“I think having Boivin as a 19 year old and having Jacob come in here, getting his feet wet, will be good.
“Hopefully, the more games he plays the more comfortable he will get and he will turn into the stud goalie everybody seems to think he will become.
“We are super excited about this addition. He is a special talent and we were very lucky to acquire him.”
The coach is hoping Brown and Boivin will challenge each other to the point where the Rock are able to ride the hot hand.
“We certainly wanted the goaltending position to be a little bit more competitive this year,” Perry said.
“Time will tell, but right now I am really happy with those two guys. I think they are going to push each other well and Pat will be a great mentor for Jacob, having been there and done it.
“I have loved Pat since we (Timmins Majors) played against him in Midget (U18), when he was with Kap.
“He is an outstanding kid.”
Following Thursday’s trade with the Miners, the Rock now have 13 forwards on their roster and appear to be set in goal.
The NOJHL squad’s blue-liner, however, is still a bit of a work in progress, with only two D-men — Felix Cadieux-Fredette and Chase Longhurst — currently listed on the roster.
“We are looking to bring in three (new) D, but they are hard to find,” Perry said.
“Losing (Bode) Dunford, (Cameron) Dutkiewicz, (Carson) Cox, (Tanner) Hamilton and (Eric) Moreau on the back end, we have got a lot to fill and I think the big concern …
“Obviously, Longhurst is going to take another step and Cadieux-Fredette is as steady as they come.
“He probably played as many minutes as all those guys last year, but we need a guy who can come in and quarterback the power play.
“It is an incredible skill set to have and Dutkiewicz was as good as anybody at it.
“So, yah, defence is certainly where we are focused right now.”