Back on board the Express

Randy Russon
September 27, 2017

Espanola Express, winless through seven games thus far this Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season, has added some much-needed scoring to its lineup. has confirmed that 1998 birth-year forward Joel Grandbois has returned to the Express after sitting out the 2016-2017 NOJHL season to focus on his high school studies.

Two seasons ago, during the 2015-2016 campaign, Grandbois was an offensive force for Espanola with 21 goals, 17 assists, 38 points in 51 games as a 17-year old rookie.

“We are happy to have Joel back in our lineup,” relayed Express general manager Chad Clarke. “We obviously have some adjustments to make and adding Joel is a step in the right direction.”

Grandbois will be in the Espanola lineup tonight when the Express visits the Soo Thunderbirds.

What you think about “Back on board the Express”

  1. They need about 4 more signings like him up front, and at least two on the back-end.

    This team struggles terribly to score, they need to make adjustments before they’re left in the dust.

    Welcome back Joel though, he was a true leader of that team in 2015-16 at such a young age.

  2. I agree with the previous writer. This is a team that has only scored 9 goals in 8 games. Their forwards seldom put any pressure in opposing teams, and as a result, they spent most of the game defending in their own end. Just check on the shots on goal totals. The one bright spot has been their goal tending. Hutchings has kept the team in most of the games they have played.

    1. Yeah have to agree with you espofan regarding Hutchings. To be honest, this team has attracted some pretty good goalies in the last few years. Kevin Labelle, Logan Sawka and now Jake Hutchings are all capable, good quality junior A goalies in ANY league in the CJHL.

      Trouble is, most of Espanola’s team is junior B or junior C level players (minor midgets) playing in a league that is way too advanced for them. 9 goals in 8 games is just brutal. They have a few decent players like Connor Tessier, Isaac Tkachuk, Logan Fennema and Jackson Heacock..but the rest of them are all 16 or 17 and personally in over their heads.

      Glad to see them get Grandbois back..a true junior A level player, and Tristan Poissant set to make his debut on Friday night vs Rayside. He’s apparently very good as well.

      It’s a start…but I hope its not the end of the adjustments and tweaking to this roster.

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