A hometown standout is remaining at home in Timmins to play hockey this season.
A skilled, smart, front line skater, Landon Deforge is moving up from the Timmins Majors of the Great North Midget Hockey League to the Timmins Rock of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
And both Deforge’s former coach with the Majors and his new coach with the Rock have plenty good to say about the 5-foot-8, 160 pound pivot who has a 2003 birth date.
“Landon was a horse for us this past season,” Majors head coach Brandon Perry said of Deforge. “He is a player who always put the team’s best interests ahead of his own.”
While Deforge led Timmins in scoring with 13 goals, 27 assists, 40 points in 38 league games — the Majors finished fifth in the eight-member Great North with a record of 16-18-4 — those nifty numbers do not begin to tell the whole story, Perry told Hockey News North.
“Landon had a productive season but he played so many minutes in all situations for us that it may have taken away from his personal statistics,” Perry pointed out.
Besides having the skill, smarts and speed that he shows on the ice, Deforge is also a character kid and an exceptional high school student, Perry pointed out.
“He is an incredible young man, one of, if not the, best students we had on our team,” Perry noted. “On the ice, he plays with so much speed in his game and attacks the middle of the ice so well and creates a lot of space for his line-mates.”
Perry said he is looking forward to watching Deforge stay and play at home in Timmins as he moves up from the Majors to the Rock.
“I am just super excited for Landon taking the next step in his career, obviously our lineup is going to miss not having him for a third year and that’s a lot of minutes to fill but he is more than ready to make the jump to junior hockey.
“He is an incredibly mature young man and playing for (Rock head coach) Corey Beer already (as an affiliate player in 2019-2020) is definitely going to help him make this transition.
“As a coach, Beersie is one of the best hockey minds I have come across in the game and I can’t wait to see how Landon develops under him. The sky is the limit for Landon and I can’t wait to watch him fly around in a Rock uniform.
“It is good for Landon, good for our program and good for Timmins hockey,” Perry summed up.
Meanwhile, Beer as the bench boss of the Rock, said Deforge will bring a lot to one of the top programs in the NOJHL.
“Obviously, bringing Landon in with us was a no brainer. He has had experience with us over the past two seasons and has handled himself very well. He fits into the style of play we are looking for,” Beer told Hockey News North.
“Last year as one of our main affiliate players he came in and fit in on whatever line he played on. And in talking with Brandon Perry about the impact he’s had on his Majors roster it really does seem like it will be a seamless transition for Landon.
“His skill combined with fore checking ability is something that has us very excited,” Beer said in further praise of Deforge. “Landon is quick on the attack and can make plays in tight spaces. He has also turned himself into a very good penalty killer which could fetch him more opportunities for ice time.
Deforge also has intangibles that Beer and the Rock look for in a player.
“He also is another one of our players new to the roster who has been a leader on his team. That goes a long way with us. We’re looking for well rounded players as well as well rounded people. Landon fits both those categories.
“We are very excited to see his game grow with us,” summed up Beer.