The Timmins Rock added to the strength of their blue line, while taking advantage of their surplus offensive options up front.

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The Timmins Rock added to the strength of their blue line, while taking advantage of their surplus offensive options up front.

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Kapuskasing product Kyle Trottier (2, 0-0-0, 0) was acquired from the West Division Soo Thunderbirds in exchange for forward Daniel Beaupre (5, 3-0-3, 0).

Trottier, a left-handed defenseman from the 2003 birth year who stands 5-10 and weighs 165 pounds, was part of the Thunderbirds team that won a NOJHL championship in 2022 and qualified for the tournament in the Centennial Cup.

Joining former Red Lake Miners SIJHL champion Brady Harroun, Ethan Pool, Kenyon Nyman and Lucas Piekarczyk, Trottier becomes the fifth player on the Rock’s roster to appear in the 2022 Centennial Cup tournament.

As a rookie, Trottier (regular season: 45, 3-15-18, 8; playoffs: 15, 1-3-4, 0) posted impressive numbers for the Thunderbirds in 2021-22.

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Prior to entering the NOJHL with the Thunderbirds, Trottier spent three seasons in the Great North Midget League (now U18) with the Kapuskasing Flyers (2018-19: 34, 2-14-16, 4; 2019-20 : 25.4 -10-14.8; 2020-21: 0.0-0-0.0).

Rock’s coach and general manager, Brandon Perry, was coaching the Timmins Majors when Trottier was playing for the Flyers.

“I’ve coached against Kyle since my days with the Majors,” he said.

“He’s a great player and we’re extremely lucky to have him.

“Everything I’ve seen coaching against him and the things I’ve heard about him is exactly the type of character and player we want in our bedroom.”

“He’s another guy who comes with a winning pedigree. Obviously he knows what it takes to win our league and contest the Centenary Cup.

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“It’s important for us, along with the other transactions we made this summer.

The coach sees a lot of similarities with current Rock defender Felix Cadieux-Fredette in Trottier’s game.

“They’re very similar players,” Perry said.

“He’s a great defender, he adds a bit of offense, he can do it all, fill in the power play, kill penalties.

“He’s going to play a big part in our Top 4. He’s a top level player.”

On the surface, it appears the Rock’s blue line has as many as nine skaters following the Trottier acquisition, but Perry pointed to American D-men Jackson Hildebrand (3, 0-1-1, 2) and David MacDonald (0, 0- 0-0, 0) have left the team and will, at some point, be traded.

Beaupre, a 2003-born right-handed forward who is 5-10, weighs 180 pounds and hails from North Vancouver, B.C., started the 2021-22 campaign with the Rock (21, 5-5-10, 6) before being traded to the Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL (14, 0-1-1, 0).

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He was acquired by the Rock from the Golden Hawks in exchange for a player development fee on July 5.

Perry noted that he disliked having to trade quality hockey players and individuals, but in Beaupre’s case, the move was necessary for the Thunderbirds to part ways with Trottier.

“If we could have done it without giving up a piece like Daniel, we would have done it 100%,” he said.

“He provided a great secondary score for our group and obviously the Soo were looking for a Top 6 striker in return.

“We presented a few different options and the only option they were interested in was the one with Daniel.

“It’s in no way a knock on Daniel or anything he’s done here. He’s a fantastic kid and I really enjoyed coaching him.

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“We will miss him.”

Perry reiterated even last season when the Rock traded Beaupre to the Golden Hawks at the Canadian Junior Hockey League trade deadline in January, it was only because Trenton alerted them in the first place and needed him. due to a shortage of players.

The Thunderbirds are certainly eager for Beaupre to join their roster.

In a post by Matt Stefano on the team’s website, assistant coach and general manager Jamie Henderson said: “We are really excited to add Daniel to our current squad.

“Daniel is going to add another element to our team and obviously he should fit in very well on and off the ice.”

In the same story, Beaupre said, “I’m excited to start with a winning team and a winning program.

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“I also hope to help this team win another championship this season.”

“Playing with North Van, Trenton and Timmins was a great learning experience and I’m happy to bring what I learned from them to the Thunderbirds.”

Beaupre hails from the same city (North Vancouver) as current Thunderbirds forward Dharan Cap.

“I know Dharan Cap very well,” he said. “I skated with him a few times over the summer and he always praised the Soo Thunderbirds organization.”

Commenting on Trottier’s departure, Henderson said: “Kyle is a special young man who comes from a great family.

“We are happy to give him the opportunity to play closer to home and he was a great player for us last season in our Championship run. We also wish him the best with his new team.

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The Rock is busy preparing to host the Blind River Beavers at McIntyre Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and the Elliot Lake Red Wings on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Following the wave of illnesses that swept through the team last weekend, health is top of mind for the coaching staff these days.

“We gave them all day Monday, but two other guys gave up today,” Perry said.

“So we won’t have them for training. We will use certain affiliates of the Majors.

“We asked everyone to take COVID-19 tests, but everything is negative so far.

“It’s just a little bug going around. Every team goes through this at different times of the year.

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