A mid-season trade from a year ago has proven to be a win-win situation for both Ryan Casselman and the Cobourg Cougars.
After playing about a season and a half with the Central Canada Hockey League’s Pembroke Lumber Kings, Casselman admits he was homesick and requested a trade to a club closer to his home in Napanee, Ont.
The Lumber Kings ended up trading his playing rights to the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Stouffville Spirit. But Casselman did not report to Stouffville, located north of Toronto, as he would not have been able to live in his eastern Ontario hometown.
As a result, the Spirit traded Casselman’s rights to the Cougars. He welcomed that move to that OJHL franchise as he could live in Napanee and commute to Cobourg, about an hour away, for games and practices.
Casselman was also rather excited with the trade to Cobourg since he knew the Cougars would be hosting and have an automatic berth in this year’s RBC Cup tournament, the national Junior A championship.
Casselman ended up appearing in 30 regular season games with the Cougars last season, earning 25 points, including nine goals.
As for this season, Casselman, who is five-foot-eight and 165 pounds, has dramatically increased his offensive production. Not only is the 19-year-old right winger leading the Cougars in scoring, he’s also in fourth place in the OJHL scoring race.
Casselman has racked up 70 points (29 goals and 41 assists) through his first 49 matches.
“It was my goal at the start of the year to do my best and lead the team (in scoring),” he said. “I just had a really, really hardworking summer. I trained at home and my dad pushed me hard to get better.”
Casselman added his father Scott is his biggest supporter, traveling to all of his home and road matches.
Besides wanting to be the Cougars’ top pointgetter this season, he is keen to surpass the 53 points that defenceman Brennan Roy had collected last season when he led the Cobourg club in scoring.
Now that he’s earned 70 points, Casselman is not satisfied. The Cougars have four regular season games remaining.
“I still want to keep getting better and better and up that total,” he said.
Though he has a year of junior eligibility remaining, Casselman is keen to begin his NCAA career next season. He currently has a scholarship offer from a top-notch Division III squad but is waiting to see if he can secure a Division I deal.
He’s also hoping the Cougars have a rather successful playoff run before competing at the nationals in May.
“Our goal is to not just be in the RBC Cup tournament,” he said. “We want to get there the proper way by winning our league and then go and win the Dudley Hewitt Cup (a regional qualifying tourney).”Back to Top
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