NOJHL Notes: Haines on fire, Trecroce on air

January 27, 2014

…To say that Darcy Haines has been lighting it up for the Soo Thunderbirds since the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team acquired the skilled centre in a trade with the Pembroke Lumberkings of the Central Canada Hockey League earlier this season would rank as a major understatement.

Haines, who is in his final season of junior eligibility, is averaging two points a game through 20 outings with the Thunderbirds.

The Great Sudbury Area product has 13 goals, 27 assists, 40 points in 20 games as a Thunderbird.

As Haines focuses on the remainder of the 2013-2014 season with the league-leading Thunderbirds, he is mindful of pursuing his education.

To that end, Haines, appearing on a recent edition of the Thunderbird Hockey Show on ESPN 1400 Radio, said he hopes to play university hockey next season.

“But right now my goals are to help the Thunderbirds win the NOJHL championship this season,” said Haines.

…Blind River Beavers defenceman Nick Trecroce, appearing on a recent edition of the Hockey North Show on ESPN 1400 Radio, said he expects to return to action “sooner than later” after suffering a rib injury in an NOJHL game on January 10.

The 5-foot-7, 152 pound defenceman had been showing his supreme skills with the Beavers before being injured with 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points in just 11 games.

Trecroce, who played two seasons in the Great North Midget Hockey League with the Soo North Stars and is a 2012 Ontario Hockey League draft pick of the Sudbury Wolves, also explained why he departed the Smiths Falls Bears after beginning the 2013-2014 campaign with the CCHL team.

“I wasn’t playing much,” Trecroce said evenly. “I am 17-years old and I need to play if I am going to develop.”

Trecroce, while enjoying his NOJHL experience in Blind River, remains unsure if he is going to continue trying to play in the OHL next season or focus more on a possible future at the National Collegiate Athletic Association level.

To be sure, Trecroce could remain in the NOJHL next season or wind up in the North American Hockey League with the Soo Eagles.

Eagles coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo has scouted Trecroce on multiple occasions and said he likes the smarts, skills and grit of the puck-moving defender.

“He’s small but he’s a good player and he plays with a definite edge,” Bragagnolo said of Trecroce.

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