He was a rookie forward for the lowly Timmins Majors, who won only two of 36 regular season games in 2016-2017. But as the Majors have made major strides in the Great North Midget Hockey League in 2017-2018, so too has 2001 birth year forward Riley Brousseau.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Brousseau is second on the Majors in scoring at this stage of the 2017-2018 campaign, having scored 10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points in 25 games on an improving, competitive, well-coached Timmins team that has a record of 10-14-1.
As a rookie in 2016-2017, Brousseau had 10 goals, 7 assists, 17 points in 33 games on a disastrous Timmins team that posted a league-worst record of 2-32-2 and went through three head coaches in the process.
But the 2017-2018 season has been a breath of fresh, cold, northern air for the Majors program under 28-year old rookie bench boss Brandon Perry, who captained his hometown Timmins team as a former star player in the Great North loop before going on to play four seasons in the Ontario Jr. Hockey League and four more at the Ontario University Athletics level.
At any rate, of the returning players who have turned their game around from last season to this, Brousseau stands out in part because he is still very young at age 16 and has good size to go with a good skill set.
To be sure, there is a lot about Brousseau that has impressed Perry, who along with the rest of his first-year coaching staff, has instilled discipline and accountability in to Timmins midget program.
“First off, Riley got off to a really slow start to this season, just as the team did,” Perry told Hockey News North. “To be honest, the returning kids all had to get rid of a lot of bad habits from last year. Once they did, we have seen progress in them as individuals that have extended to the team as a whole.
“In talking about Riley, he has just got better and better as the season has gone on,” Perry said of Brousseau. “He is big and fast and he has a wicked shot. He competes hard and is just a really good player with a lot of skill.”
Perry added that he feels Brousseau could and should be selected at this year’s second-ever, Ontario Hockey League draft for major midget players who were not picked as a minor midgets in 2017.
“He has a lot of potential based on his skill and size and he is a really good kid who wants to get better. He is always asking the coaches how he can get better and what he can do to improve himself,” Perry added in further praise of Brousseau.
To be sure, Major improvement has led to a Major role for Brousseau.
PHOTO: Forward Riley Brousseau, in action for the Timmins Majors. (Photo by Timmins Daily Press.)