1999 birth year defenseman Josh Anderson is moving up from the Timmins Rock of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to the Rimouski Océanic of the Quebec Major Jr. Hockey League.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Anderson will join Rimouski, which is tied for first place overall in what is a hotly-contested, 18-team QMJHL, just after the Christmas break.
“It’s a great opportunity and I am really excited to be able to move up to the next level,” Anderson told the Timmins Daily Press.
Timmins will retain Anderson’s NOJHL rights in the event that he doesn’t stick with Rimouski.
Having said that, Anderson is aware of what it will take for him to remain with the Oceanic.
“I will have to make sure I keep my game on point,” he said. “I will have to be focused on hockey and getting better. Every day, other guys at that level are getting better.
“The speed of the game is a big factor,” Anderson continued. “Everything is a little bit quicker. You just have to make sure you keep your head up. Guys at that level are more skilled.”
Anderson said the opportunity to play in the NOJHL and for Timmins head coach Corey Beer played a major role in getting the call to move up to Rimouski and the QMJHL.
“Definitely,” he relayed. “I would like to thank the Timmins Rock, the players and the coaching staff, for helping to develop my game and helping me along the way. I learned a lot during my time in Timmins.”
Beer said the departure of Anderson, who logged major minutes of ice per game while with the Rock, “will leave a massive void in our lineup.
“But we are extremely happy Josh was able to come in here and in a short period of time have his skills and his game progress to the level where he was attracting major junior attention,” Beer added. “We are very happy to see him move up.”
Timmins is part of a three team race for fourth place in the East Division of the NOJHL.
The Rock sits in fourth spot with 29 points, which is one more than the Hearst Lumberjacks and five more than the French River Rapids. But Hearst has five games in hand on both Timmins and French River.