In sports parlance, a sophomore spell refers to when a sophomore, or sophomore, athlete fails to meet standards after a solid freshman effort.
With five goals and 10 assists so far this season, Kelowna Rockets forward Nolan Flamand is hoping for a second drop.
“I think I’m a good 200-footer who can make good plays in the offensive zone,” the 5-foot-9, 160-pound forward told Global News.
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One of Flamand’s skills is often to win key face-offs.
This season, he’s won 158 of 366 face-offs. And, on several occasions, those victories have led directly to goals.
As a result, the 17-year-old Saskatoon product has garnered much praise.
“He was great. He’s a really, really smart hockey player, he has a really high hockey IQ, ”said Rockets assistant coach Josh MacNevin.
“He’s a small guy, but he seems to be winning a lot of battles.”
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Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton said Flemish’s skating will have to improve if it is to take it to the next level, “but he’s one of the guys that everyone wants to play with because he moves the puck very well.
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Hamilton and Flamand both attribute last spring’s experience to the hub as a big part of this season’s success.
Flamand played 16 games during the COVID-19 hubs season, scoring one goal and six assists.
“Certainly the time he spent in the hub with us was amazing for him to understand how fast the game was going to be,” said Hamilton.
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“For me, I think it was huge,” Flamand said of last season’s WHL show.
“It was as if I was a miner in the dwarf; it’s just another way to jump into the league and see what the pace is.
The Rockets hope Flamand will continue to use that knowledge to his advantage, as they enter a four-game home game on Friday night.
against the Prince George Cougars.
In addition, Rockets forward Pavel Novak has been invited to the Czech Republic selection camp for the upcoming 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, from December 26 to January 5 in Edmonton.
A 5-10, 170-pound forward, Novak is Kelowna’s leading scorer with 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points in 21 games. He also has odds of plus seven, as well as eight penalty minutes.
Last season, Novak played for the Czech Republic at the 2021 World Juniors, registering one goal and two assists.
Canada and the Czech Republic are both in Group A, and the two teams will face off on Opening Day on December 26.
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