Overachieving defenseman Keaston (Sticks) Blais has signed with the Hearst Lumberjacks of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
An ever-improving, hard-working, right-hand shooting defender with a late October, 2002 birth date, Blais has spent the past two seasons with the Timmins Majors of the Great North Midget Hockey League.
A character individual who hails from the northeastern Ontario town of Iroquois Falls, Blais greatly advanced his game over two seasons with the Timmins midgets under the watchful eye of no-nonsense Majors coach Brandon Perry.
After getting cut by Timmins three years ago, Blais made the Majors in 2018-2019 and contributed two assists in 34 games.
He then enhanced his overall game in Timmins in 2019-2020 and boosted his totals to three goals, 14 assists, 17 points in 37 games for the Majors.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Blais heads to Hearst to play for Lumberjacks rookie head coach Marc-Alain Begin come the 2020-2021 NOJHL season.
Begin and outgoing Lumberjacks coach-general manager Marc Lafleur — whose family has since relocated to the Ottawa area — monitored the progress of Blais during his past two seasons with the Timmins midgets.
Blais has already had a taste of the NOJHL, having suited up for three games with Hearst in 2019-2020 as an affiliate player.