Solid as a Rock rookie

Randy Russon
February 13, 2019

He is one of the youngest players on the Timmins Rock. And as a 2001 birth-year forward, Riley Brousseau leads all rookie scorers on the Rock and is fifth on the points chart for the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team.

But that is not all of what he has to offer.

A local product who had remaining eligibility with the Timmins Majors of the Great North Midget Hockey League, Brousseau not only made the opening day roster of the NOJHL Rock but has a regular role with the East Division contenders this season.

Through 46 games thus far this 2018-2019 NOJHL regular season, the 6-foot, 160-pound Brousseau has 10 goals, 18 assists, 28 points.

And Corey Beer, who is the second-year coach of the NOJHL Rock, has plenty of good to say about Brousseau, who tallied 13 goals, 12 assists, 25 points in 34 games with the Timmins midgets last season.

“For me, Riley Brousseau is one of those student of the game players,” Beer told Hockey News North. “He is always working on finding ways to involve himself in the game.”

Besides a regular shift with the Rock as a rookie skater, Brousseau has also seen time on the power play and penalty kill units.

“He has spent much of the year on the PP as a bumper guy,” Beer relayed. “But lately with us working on correcting some things on our PK, Riley has transformed himself into a very good penalty killer, both in zone as a defender and up ice as a skilled fore checker.”

Which is part of the team-first mentality that Brousseau has brought to the Rock, according to Beer.

“It is never easy when a player gets pulled off the power play to shift to penalty killer but not only has Riley done this and become one of our better ones, his team first mentality makes him a guy the other players can rally around, even at the age of 17,” Beer said, in further praise of Brousseau.

Brousseau joined the Rock as an affiliate player for last spring’s NOJHL playoffs after the Majors season ended in the Great North midget playoffs. It was then that Beer said he figured out what type of player he was getting in Brousseau.

“As a player that came up to us as an AP last year and played on an extended basis for us in the playoffs, we knew what kind of kid we were getting in Riley,” said Beer.

“The thing that we know for sure is how passionate Riley is about becoming a better player, especially for his hometown team. He’s in my office early going through video on his mistakes and areas where he can improve on.

“He is one of those guys that is a major building block for our franchise and in my opinion he is just scraping the surface of what kind of player we have with us,” Beer said, in summation of Brousseau.

Photo by Timmins Daily Press.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *