Trappers of the Great North

Randy Russon
December 6, 2017

Once a lowly presence — over a period of several years — within the Great North Midget Hockey League, the North Bay Trappers now serve as a model program for success and development.

Within the major midget division of the Great North, the Trappers are in first place with a record of 20-2-1.

Within the minor midget division of the Great North, the Trappers are in first place with a record of 9-4-0.

No longer is North Bay a laughingstock at the AAA midget level.

No longer does North Bay take a back seat to the bigger market programs from Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.

In fact, North Bay has gone way ahead of the Soo. Just check out the standings in the major and minor divisions of the Great North.

On the major midget side, as first place North Bay has 41 points from a record of 20-2-1, the Soo Greyhounds are in fourth place with 22 points from a record of 9-15-4. North Bay also holds five games in hand on the Soo.

On the minor midget side, as first place North Bay has 18 points from a record of 9-4-0, the Soo Thunderbirds are in last place with 7 points from a record of 2-12-3. North Bay also holds four games in hand on the Soo.

At any rate, North Bay has clearly moved passed the Soo as far as the state of the respective major midget and minor midget programs are concerned.

It can also be noted that a top minor midget aged player from Sault Ste. Marie, forward David Campbell, opted to leave home to play hockey this season in — you guessed it — North Bay.

Campbell merely leads all minor midget aged players in the Great North with 14 goals, 8 assists, 22 points in just 13 games.

What has served North Bay well is the presence of Guy Blanchard as head coach of the major midget Trappers. Blanchard also sits on the executive of the North Bay and District Trappers Hockey Association as its coach consultant for the entire program.

Besides being a successful minor hockey coach of many years, Blanchard has also coached in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sudbury Wolves and erstwhile North Bay Centennials and Guelph Platers and has multiple Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championships to his credit from his years with the old North Bay Skyhawks.

The 58-year old Blanchard — who is a member of the North Bay Hockey Hall of Fame — believes in a defense-first system of player development and enhancement.

As five players from the Blanchard-coached Trappers of 2016-2017 were taken at the 2017 OHL draft, only one player from the Greyhound midgets was selected.

Just stating a few facts that cannot be disputed.

What you think about “Trappers of the Great North”

  1. it started with our spring hockey teams for ages 99-2001 we started getting better then we started AAA hockey in North Bay again with the Pee Wee Trappers then with the help of Richard Walker in Valley East we created the AAA league in Pee Wee .This gave our players a chance to play against the best

    It was not created over night and there was alot of push back to what we wanted to do but they are reaping the benefits now plus the added benefit of closeness to Toronto 3 hrs is now becoming a advantage for both boys and girls to play
    against the provinces best both in summer and during the traditional hockey
    The question is can we sustain it ?

  2. North Bay majors go 3-1-0 in round robin and make it to semi finals in Waterloo Midget tourney this weekend … great showing. North Bay Minor Midgets win their division.

    Sault major midgets end up 0-1-3 in round robin .

    1. Major traps went 3 0 1 in round robin. Still lots of work to do for the boys but learning every step of the way and always striving to be better. They have come a long way however they are not satisfied which is what keeps them hungry to want to improve.

  3. Congrats to the Trappers and to our Sault Major Greyhounds with two ties and some excellent hockey. Gordie people of all ages read Hockey News North including 20 major Midget hockey players we thank u for your continued support. Perhaps u should move to North Bay we would welcome it.

  4. Monty: just stating the results …. would you rather we hide the results of the major Midgets??

    BTW Monty…To date …how many tournament games have the major Midgets won this season?

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