Joining the University of Jamestown Jimmies is a perfect fit for Sicamous Eagle Philippe Lessard for a few reasons.
While speaking to coach Dean Stork, Lessard learned about the Jimmies identity, culture and family atmosphere on campus.
“I think that the culture of a hockey team is important in order to succeed and the feeling of family that Jamestown offers was a great incentive for me,” says Lessard, an Edmonton native, who played 50 games in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League with Beaver Valley and Sicamous. “I also liked the academic program, small class size and the flexibility the university has to offer.”
In Lessard, the Jimmies get a speedy player recognized for his work ethic. He battles in corners or in front of the net and strives to be a complete player with a two-way game. He is also responsible, disciplined and a team player.
“With my speed, I am able to force turnovers and create chances for my teammates,” says Lessard, a recipient of a KIJHL bursary. “My speed also serves me well on the PK.”
While in the KIJHL, Lessard had great mentors in his coaches, starting with Terry Jones, veteran players and captains, who helped him mature and hone his skills. Lessard, 20, leaves the league with a different way of looking at the game and is very excited to see what university hockey will bring him.
“My two years in the KIJHL with the Nitehawks and the Eagles were very important in my development as a player and as a person,” says Lessard. “The coaching staff with the Nitehawks were great mentors and they helped me become a more mature player. With the Eagles, I was able to add to my game as I got more confidence offensively. I am known as a good defensive player and during my time with the Eagles I was starting to build more confidence handling the puck and creating scoring opportunities. I feel the level of coaching I received elevated my game and made me a more complete player.”
While Lessard only played two games as an Eagle, the coaches showed confidence in him.
Another aspect that Lessard enjoyed about his time in the KIJHL were the communities he experienced and meeting new people. Coming from a large city, he realized how great it was to live in communities where everyone knows and helps each other.
“The league offers a great opportunity for development for players,” he says. “The level of hockey in the KIJHL offers a great challenge and it prepares me for the next steps.”