TISDALE — Tisdale Trojans rookie forward Jordan Normand is the type of player coaching staffs want on their squad.
“A coach’s dream kind of player. He will accept any role. He’s played a little powerplay. He’s played PK,” Tisdale midget AAA head coach Dennis Kubat said, referencing the penalty kill. “He’s played with the top guys. He’s played with maybe our third- and fourth-line guys. He is the ultimate team player. Ultimate competitor. Ultimate leader. I couldn’t say enough good things about what he’s been to our program.”
A 15-year-old from Warman, Normand has had an impact with his play, character, and leadership. Kubat forecasts him to continue to be a big part of the team in the future.
“He’s a team-first guy. He doesn’t care about stats. He cares about victories... At 15, it is hard to have a lot of guys who have that mentality,” Kubat said. “He doesn’t wear a letter this year as a leader, but he is a leader and he’ll be a huge leader for our program next year.”
In 37 games this season, the 5-foot-7, 130-pound Normand had four goals and seven points. He has taken on many roles this season but, as of late, he has been deployed as a penalty killer and on a shutdown line. Kubat praised him for being good on face-offs and for being one of the players the Trojans turn to in the last minute of a game with a lead.
“I have always enjoyed the defensive aspect of the game,” Normand said. “It’s obviously nice to help out offensively, but I’ve always been more of a defensive forward and take pride in being good in my own end and doing the little things such as getting the puck out and winning face-offs. I am getting lots of opportunities on the penalty kill and I just try to make the most of it every time and keep the puck out of our net.”
Last season Normand played bantam AA hockey for his hometown Wildcats. He was selected in the first round, seventh overall, of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Draft by the Humboldt Broncos. Normand said attending camp with the Broncos benefitted him this season.
“It was a very good experience and it got me ready for the level of hockey that I would be playing in a midget AAA,” Normand said. “It was also a good learning experience against the bigger and older players because I had to learn to keep my head up and be aware of where everyone is on the ice.”
In Tisdale, Normand lives with Rob and Jill Pollon. He said he enjoys playing for the Trojans because how close the team is and the atmosphere of the squad.
Kubat, who is in his first season as head coach, said that in recruiting the Trojans really looks for character young men. He praised Normand for being a high character individual and representing the team well.
“He does everything right from he’s doing well in school to always going to the gym, being involved in the community to his billets saying amazing things about him to his teammates loving him,” Kubat said.
The Trojans last week
Saturday, Feb. 1 in Tisdale
Saskatoon Blazers 5, Tisdale 1
Tisdale Scorer: Noah Wills
Blazers Scorers: Nolan Sparks (2), Logan Cox, Alec Saretzky, Kobie Anderson
Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 25 saves on 30 shots; Brett Mirwald, Saskatoon, 30 on 31
Notes: The Blazers took a 3-0 first period lead. Saskatoon scored twice shorthanded. The Trojans got on the board in the second period.
Sunday, Feb. 2 in Tisdale
Saskatoon Blazers 3, Tisdale 0
Blazers Scorers: Carter Stebbings, Alex Saretzky, Kobie Anderson
Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 31 saves on 34 shots; Brett Mirwald, Saskatoon, 0 on 16
Notes: The Blazers led 1-0 and 3-0 at the intermissions. “They are a great team, four lines that can score, great depth,” Tisdale head coach Dennis Kubat said of the Blazers. “The boys need to trust our systems and we need everyone buying in to be successful.”
Tanner Eberle (2010-11) has been enjoying a strong second season in the United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League. After posting nine goals and 26 points in 57 games last season, the Regina product has lit the lamp 20 goals and had 40 points in 41 games in his second campaign with the Sheffield Steelers. Eberle suited up for one season for the Trojans before playing four full campaigns for the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors. He then played four seasons in the U.S. minor pro ranks - American Hockey League and ECHL – before heading overseas.
The Tisdale Trojans (20-16-1-1) host the Battlefords Stars (13-21-2-1) for a pair of games this weekend. The teams clash Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.