Dorval “getting better every day”

December 12, 2014

It’s a big step to have to take as a 16-year old.

To be sure, it’s a giant leap from minor midget hockey to the major junior level.

Zack Dorval is a 1998 birth-year centre who has moved up from the Soo Thunder minor midgets to the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League in the space of a single season. And while the youngster is experiencing the growing pains associated with being a fresh-faced rookie, he definitely has the makings of being “a good one.”

John Goodwin, the former OHL rookie-of-the-year (1978-1979) and league scoring champion (1980-1981), knows a thing or two about being a high-performance centre. And the 53-year old Goodwin, now the lead assistant coach with Kingston, likes the way Dorval is developing with the Frontenacs.

“He’s getting better every day,” Goodwin said of Dorval. “He works hard in practice and plays with a lot of intensity. It was tough on him early, being away from home and making the adjustment from top scorer in minor midget to a fourth-line player in the OHL, but he’s going to be just fine. He is going to be a good one.”

Dorval has played in 22 of the Frontenacs 26 games thus far this 2014-2015 season and has his first OHL goal to his credit. On the small side at 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, Dorval nonetheless plays with a gritty edge.

“He doesn’t back down,” Goodwin said of Dorval. “He’s not that big but he’s young and he’s just going to get stronger. It will be a big off-season for him after his rookie year.”

Dorval put up big numbers with the Soo minor midgets in 2013-2014 after moving from his northeastern Ontario hometown of Hearst to advance his game. In all, Dorval had 48 goals, 33 assists, 81 points in 75 games with the Thunder and racked up 122 penalty minutes.

Rated as the top player his age from northern Ontario, Dorval lived up to that billing when he was selected by Kingston in the second round (35th overall) at the 2014 OHL draft.

Goodwin said there is no doubt in his mind that Dorval has what it takes to be a future OHL star.

“He’s got the work ethic and he has the skill,” Goodwin said evenly. “He just needs to get stronger and to not get down on himself because he’s not putting up big points as a rookie. His time will come and (Frontenacs head coach Paul McFarland) and I are really looking forward to being a part of his development.”


Kingston, with a record of 13-10-3 and in fifth place in the 10-team Eastern Conference, is in the Soo tonight for a 7:07 game versus the Greyhounds at the Essar Centre.

The Hounds are tied for first with the Erie Otters in the Western Conference with records of 22-6-2.

PHOTO: Zack Dorval, rookie centre with the Kingston Frontenacs.

What you think about “Dorval “getting better every day””

  1. Good Article on Zac and I believe that he will pann out as Coach Goodwin say’s. Zac is also a real good kid , is a very polite young man.

  2. Saw him play in Ottawa a couple weeks back. Great Player and a very hard worker, Nice to see another northern boy getting some notice.

  3. Nice article R.R. Looking forward to watching Zack play to-nite. I saw him play a dozen or so Games last season and he really stood out playing for Sal & the Thunders.

  4. I to see Zack Dorval becoming a “star player” for the Fronts. Only 1 goal so far but he hussles non stop and he is a tough to. He is a treat to watch and he won’t be on the 4th Line for long as our Asst Coach “The Snake” says Zack is gettin’ better everey day!

  5. Zack = Good player and a better kid!!! Good family = Dad Pierre and Mom Ricky Anne.
    Go Fronts GO!
    Nice article RR you are the best when it comes to writing about the boys from the North.

  6. Another 16 year old to watch is Joel Fortin who scored the winning goal last night for the KL Gold Miners the first place team in the NOJHL ..Joel is also a Hearst product and from what I understand a very talented player according to my local sources…

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