Return ticket to Espanola

Randy Russon
April 1, 2021
Cole Delarosbil of the Espanola Express, in action. (photo by Bob Davies)

He has paid dues of advancement along the way, going from the AA levels of minor hockey in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie to AAA status.

And as the time passages of the game tick on, Cole Delarosbil has committed to returning to the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for what will be a third season, the 2021-2022 campaign.

A 2001 birth year forward known for his good work ethic and dedication, Delarosbil has affirmed his plans to play his final season of junior eligibility in Espanola.

As a rookie during the 2019-2020 campaign, a broken ankle caused Delarosbil to miss half the season. Still, he managed six goals, three assists, nine points in 27 games for an Espanola team that posted a record of 17-34-5 under coach Dave Clancy.

Then, during the abbreviated 2020-2021 season, relative to COVID-19, Delarosbil skated in 11 of Espanola’s 12 games and had five goals, two assists, seven points on an Express team that had a 5-4-3 record under new coach Brent Hughes.

Hughes, in looking ahead to the poised return of Delarosbil for the 2021-2022 season, told Hockey News North that “it is a big deal for any kid to be a 20 year old playing junior A hockey.

“And after getting to know Cole this past year, I know that he is going to put the work in and be ready to come back next season. I expect all of my 20 year old players will be doing the same because it will be their team to lead,” Hughes added.

Besides Delarosbil, the 38-year old Hughes has confirmed that he has verbal commitments from several other of his players to return to Espanola for the 2021-2022 season.

Notably, prior to his arrival in Espanola, the hard-driven Hughes was part of three straight winning seasons as an assistant coach with the Cape Breton Eagles of the Quebec Major Jr. Hockey League.

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