London duo in Hearst

Randy Russon
January 18, 2019

They were born two months apart in 1999 in the sprawling southwestern Ontario city of London. They are life long friends who grew up together in their hometown and played hockey together. And now they are teammates again, far from home, in the small northeastern Ontario town of Hearst.

Not only that, forwards Jake Desando and Max Griffioen are one and two on the scoring chart for the Hearst Lumberjacks of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Entering play this weekend, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Desando leads Hearst in scoring with 20 goals, 28 assists, 48 points in 38 games.

And right behind Desando is the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Griffioen with 19 goals, 26 assists, 45 points in 39 games.

This is Desando’s first season in Hearst and the second for Griffioen. Desando signed with Hearst prior to the start of the 2018-2019 NOJHL season at the urging of his buddy, Griffioen, according to Lumberjacks coach and general manager Marc Lafleur.

“Max took the leap last year and after enjoying his experience with Hearst and noticing the learning, his friend Jake came and joined the Lumberjacks,” Lafleur relayed.

Hearst enters play in the NOJHL this weekend in fourth place in what is a hotly contested East Division. Through 39 games, the Lumberjacks have 45 points from a record of 20-14-5.

The Lumberjacks have a record of 7-2-1 in their last 10 starts and Lafleur, as the coach and general manager, is full of praise for the leadership role that both Desando and Griffioen have undertaken.

“Both have been stellar leaders to a team that is still young and learning the ways of the NOJHL,” Lafleur said of Desando and Griffioen.

Lafleur is of the notion that both Desando and Griffioen have a lot of hockey ahead of them.

“For sure, there many years of hockey left for those two if they keep committed to learning,” added Lafleur.

What you think about “London duo in Hearst”

  1. For sure Max and jake will be hot items if they play their last year of eligibility with our Lumberjacks coaches next and I predict they will get offers for NCAA hockey or Canadian Universities come this time next year….Keep getting better guys and fame and rewards will come

  2. I’m Max’s proud mom. Thank you Randy for writing about Max and Jake. They are definitely enjoying the hockey as well as the community of Hearst. They have been welcomed by incredible billets, as well as the entire town. A great place to play and develop and become part of an enthusiastic community.

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