Jack Legros always believed he belonged in AAA hockey. This season with his hometown U18 Burlington Eagles, the 17-year-old centre proved just how effective he could be at that level.
Legros finished tied for third in the South-Central AAA Hockey League with 23 assists and tied for 10th with 33 points, helping the Eagles to a 25-2-5 finish. Not bad for someone who started out in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association but in U10, “got cut right out of the system,” playing A before making the jump back to AAA.
“Jack has been with me for two years now. It’s been amazing to watch him grow not only as a player but as a person,” said coach Mark Corbett. “Jack has come so far in two years and has earned the right to be called a top U18 AAA player.”
The path there wasn’t easy for Legros, who bounced from teams before making it back to AAA at U15, his springboard to the Eagles.
“It’s pretty common for most kids to stay with one (organization),” said Corbett. “He got released and had to make his own path and prove people wrong. He’s done a great job doing it.”
Helping Legros has been an unwavering belief in himself.
“I thought I could have played AAA but you know it didn’t work out,” he said.
As his game developed, he caught the eye of Corbett, who played six years in the Southern Professional Hockey League after four seasons with Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly known as Ryerson.
The two connected and Legros appreciates the way Corbett “can relate to us.”
“I know some of my past coaches, they haven’t played the game much, and it just hasn’t gone over well,” said Legros. “Mark knows what to do in practices, how to get ready before games, and what we need to do (to be successful).”
That Legros has been willing to listen and willing to work is essential.
“His work ethic is second to none, as sometimes I have to tell him to pull back so he doesn’t do too much,” said Corbett. “He is a student of the game and always working on it… Some guys lead by their voice, Jack leads by his play.”
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Grace Klodt is a student in the Sport Journalism post-grad program at Centennial College. Follow her on Twitter @GraceGk14