Caleb Resch has ambitious plans for his final season of junior hockey. And he is willing to move far away from home to pursue his hockey goals.
Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the 2001 birth year defensemen will be heading more than 1,000 miles from home to suit up for the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League come the 2021-2022 season.
Resch, along with two other 2001 birth year skaters, defenseman Zachary Fulton and forward Ben Couvier, were recently obtained by Espanola from the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League in a cash exchange.
The veteran trio, which figures to add seasoned steam to the Express engine, are from western Canada. Resch, as previously mentioned, is from Winnipeg while Couvier calls Miniota, Manitoba home and Fulton is from Calgary, Alberta.
The 6-foot, 180 pound Resch explained to Hockey News North why he opted to move on from Kam River and the SIJHL all the way to Espanola and the NOJHL.
“I wanted to go where I was going to get an opportunity to play as much as possible in my last year of junior hockey. I wanted to go somewhere where I am going to have a bigger role and that is said with no disrespect to the Kam River organization whatsoever,” Resch relayed.
“It is my last junior season and I plan to accomplish a lot,” Resch continued. “I have a lot of personal goals that I am wanting to achieve throughout the upcoming year, one of them being to get a scholarship to play college hockey.
“Another goal I want to achieve is to get better and better every single day on and off the ice to be the best player I can be. As a team goal and coming in as a new guy I just want to be able to walk into the locker room and be myself and provide the leadership that I bring to the table every day, along with having a team identity of never giving up and battling every single night to be the best team we can be.
“I am super excited to go to Espanola … I can’t wait to get there and start working and getting down to business,” summed up Resch.
Meanwhile, Espanola president and head coach Jason Rapcewicz said Resch reminds him somewhat of former Express all-star defenseman Mattais Salem, who led the team in scoring during the 2019-2020 season with 16 goals, 50 assists, 66 points.
“Resch has similar qualities as Salem, just not quite as high end maybe. But he will definitely be a top two d-man for us,” Rapcewicz told Hockey News North.
“He is an offensive minded d-man who will be able to quarterback our power play,” Rapcewicz added, in further assessment of Resch. “He gives us some valuable experience as a big piece of the puzzle. It was well worth going out and getting him from Kam River along with Couvier and Fulton.”
Of note, Rapcewicz referred to the 6-foot-3, 185 pound Couvier as a big, physical power forward and to the 6-foot-3, 195 pound Fulton as a good, steady, stay at home defender.
“We got a lot of value in the trade,” noted Rapcewicz.