- Written by Christopher Sa’d for Examiner.com/Toronto, for original source, click here
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. (Examiner.com)— It was a rough ride for the double blue this season, but it was a ride filled with curves and stops that will teach these players how to manage adversity.
Embracing a losing moment is a big step for some players before they endure a successful career and the taste of winning. Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors came short of two championships by one game each, but expect these loses to help the professional bound players to grow into champions.
Majors’ captain Casey Cizikas is one of Canada’s growing two-way players and unfortunately, along with their Ontario Hockey League (OHL) championship and Canadian Hockey League (CHL) loss, he didn’t see his work award him with gold at the IIHF World Junior hockey championships.
However, it’s all behind him and what was learned in now engrained after signing a three-year entry-level contract with the New York Islanders.
Cizikas, drafted 92nd in the 2009 NHL entry draft by the Islanders, is expected to help out the already young and talented Yorkers with their special teams and a solid two-way presence.
Earlier in the season, Cizikas said to Examiner.com, that this is the type of game he would focus on and what he expects to bring into the National Hockey League (NHL) next season—if he makes a roster spot.
Teammate Justin Shugg, drafted 105th in 2009 by the Carolina Hurricanes, just inked his own three-year entry-level contract after an impressive season scoring 41 goals and 87 points in 66 games played.
Shugg already won two CHL Memorial Cups and OHL championships with the Windsor Spitfires under the shadow of Taylor Hall in 2009 and 2010. But this year’s loss was to engrave Shugg into junior hockey history, winning three consecutive Memorial Cup titles.
Now he is trying to break a spot into the Canes’ lineup that could only fit a couple of new spots next season with their heady offense.
Marc Cantin, who played with Shugg on the Spitfires last season, also won the Memorial cup and OHL Championship. Undrafted, he signed a contract with 2011 Stanley Cup champions the Boston Bruins earlier this season.
Cantin was the Majors most dependent defenseman throughout the season and teaming up the goalie J.P. Anderson, they made a cause for concern for their opponents.
Anderson is someone we can’t leave out, who recently attended the sixth-annual Hockey Canada Program of Excellence goaltending camp in Calgary. From all his teammates and staff, he was anointed their most important player, backstopping them first in the OHL.
Anderson was invited to tryout for Team Canada for the World Juniors and signed a three-year entry-level deal with the San Jose Sharks.
Missing out on Anderson and the bunch, these four players are integral to the Majors chemistry and players Cameron would like to see back next season. But, with Cantin, Cizikas, and Shugg already playing four years, their time in the OHL is likely over.
It’s not true that every successful superstar had a successful junior year with their team, but weren’t they successful with a finish every other club wished for?
Finishing first in the league and losing in the Memorial Cup final displays that success and now they know what it takes to become a champion.
It is good to hear about an up and coming female Canadian tennis star....
There are few players in the NBA history that combine skill and gra...
JORDAN WAS NOT THE GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME. JORDAN HOWEVER IS THE MOST IMPOR...
Jordan wouldnt take a team like the cavs of 2008 to the finals or taken that tea...