AA goalie makes Team NOHA

February 22, 2024

Score a big one for the underdog. AA level goalie Sebastien Brassard from Sault Ste. Marie has clearly defied the odds in making the AAA Team NOHA squad that will compete at the prestigious OHL Cup Tournament that is designed for select prospects from the 2008 birth year group.

Sebastien Brassard

Brassard was the only AA level goalie from among five others from the AAA category to get an invite to the recent Team NOHA selections camp that was held in Powassan. 

With Brassard as one of the two goalies on the roster, Team NOHA is now set to compete at the annual OHL Cup Tournament that is slated to be held the week of March 25 ahead of the April 12-13 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

To be sure, the probability and likelihood were clearly stacked against Brassard not only getting invited to the Team NOHA selections camp tryout but in actually being one of the two goalies to make the squad. Players invited to the Team NOHA selections camp are, in general, exclusively from the AAA level Great North Under 18 Hockey League. And while five of the six 2008 birth year goalies invited to the recent camp are from various teams in the Great North U18 HL, Brassard tends twine for the AA level Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Nickel District Minor Hockey League.

At any rate, Brassard relayed to Hockey News North his excitement in making Team NOHA as an AA level player.

“I am really excited to be part of Team NOHA and representing the North at the OHL Cup. It is an exciting opportunity,” said Brassard. “For other players like me who are in an AA division, it is important to keep working hard and accepting challenges. Every setback is an opportunity to come back stronger.”

The 6 foot 1, 175 pound Brassard was a casualty of Sault Ste. Marie again not having an under 16 AAA level team this season. Brassard did try out for the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North U18 HL last fall but was unable to unseat either of the two older veteran goalies — 2006 birth year A.J. Borrelli and 2007 birth year Nick Marson — who played exceptionally well in the league last season. Borrelli and Marson are again two of the better goalies in the Great North this season.

But now, via the keen eyes of director of scouting Marc Gagnon and the initial recommendation of Sean Gagnon of Sault Ste. Marie, young Brassard has become an improbable member of this year’s Team NOHA. As an AA level goalie, the fact that Brassard beat out four AAA goalies for one of two spots on Team NOHA is an inspiring story on its own.

Joining Brassard as the other goalie for Team NOHA will be Carson Ruddy of the North Bay Trappers.


Five members of the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League were selected to play for Team NOHA at the upcoming OHL Cup event.

They are defensemen Brady Real, Liam Watson and Cole Wreggitt and forwards Espen Escasa and Danny MacDonald.

MacDonald, however, broke his arm in a recent exhibition game against the Michigan Soo Indians and is unlikely to be available to play for Team NOHA at the OHL Cup.

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