Former Timmins Rock captain Derek Seguin, No. 8, and current Rock captain Felix Cadieux-Fredette battle for a loose puck during an on-ice session of the NOJHL squad’s main camp in preparation for the 2023-24 campaign at the Whitney Arena. Camp will wrap up on Friday with the team’s second Team Black vs Team White game at the Whitney Arena, at 6 p.m. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS jpg, TD, apsmc
Rock main camp will wrap up on Friday with the team’s second Team Black vs Team White game at the Whitney Arena, at 6 p.m.
During his first two seasons with the Timmins Rock, Felix Cadieux-Fredette was known as your prototypical stay-at-home blue-liner.
In 64 regular-season games split between the 2021-22 and 2022-23 campaigns, the 5-11 and 184-pound Ottawa product scored just one goal, while adding 22 assists and accumulating 42 penalty minutes.
Cadieux-Fredette, affectionately known as “Freddie” to both his teammates and Rock fans, became a more well-rounded D-man during the 2022-23 NOJHL season, however.
His eight goals far surpassed his career totals heading into that campaign, and his 23 assists were also one more than he had accumulated to that point.
And Cadieux-Fredette’s new-found offensive prowess continued during a playoff run that saw the Rock win their first NOJHL championship since returning to Timmins.
In 15 post-season games, the blue-liner added two more goals and 13 assists, while spending 12 minutes in the sin bin.
Cadieux-Fredette went on to add one more goal and a minor penalty during the four games the Rock played at the 2023 Centennial Cup Championship in Portage la Prairie, Man.
Now heading into his final season of Junior ‘A’ hockey, the 2003-birth-year defender has been named captain of the Rock, following in the footsteps of Nicolas Pigeon (2022-23), Tyler Schwindt (2021-22) and Derek Seguin (2020-21).
Speaking at the start of the Rock’s main camp, Cadieux-Fredette indicated he — like his 11 returning teammates — is looking forward to beginning defence of the team’s NOJHL championship and securing a return trip to the Centennial Cup Championship.
“It feels good to be back and see all the boys, I think our core is pretty strong” he said.
“I can’t wait to see all the new guys on the ice, as well.”
In addition to Cadieux-Fredette, the list of returning Rock veterans includes forwards Nolan Ring, Liam Wells, Harry Clark, Lucas Lowe, Hayden Rynard, Kaeden McArthur and Thomas Beard, as well as blue-liners Kyle Trottier, Chase Longhurst-McIntyre and Tenzin Nyman, and goalie Patrick Boivin.
That core has been augmented through trades and signings by the addition of forwards Josh Russell (French River Rapids), Brant Romaniuk (North Bay Trappers U16), Ryan Armitage (Timmins Majors U18), Jaden Lyons (Okanagan Hockey Ontario U18) and Henry McLellan (PAC Spruce Grove Saints U18), as well as blue-liners Elijah Pool (Dryden Ice Dogs), Cameron Lee (Grandview Steelers), Sam Gallagher (Okanagan Hockey Ontario U18) and Ayden Trottier (Kapuskasing Flyers U18), and goalies Riley Dryden (Greater Kingston Gaels U16) and Samuel Rudner (Timmins Majors U18).
Romaniuk, Armitage and Ayden Trottier all saw time with the Rock in 2022-23 as affiliate players.
Ayden Trottier is the younger brother of Kyle Trottier, while Elijah Pool’s older brother forward Ethan Pool played for the Rock during the 2022-23 season.
Entering his fourth and final season with the Rock, Cadieux-Fredette likes what he has seen so far from the roster the team will carry into 2023-24.
“I have been part of a lot of different teams, a lot of good teams but I think we have what it is going to take to go for a good (playoff) run this year, for sure,” he said.
In terms of personal growth on the ice, Cadieux-Fredette will be looking to build upon his 2022-23 campaign.
“I would like to add even more offence to my game, move the puck more from the blue-line, making more long passes and more offensive passes,” he said.
Cadieux-Fredette acknowledged he will be counting on the wisdom he has gained from the three Rock captains he has played under during his time in Timmins.
“I learned a lot of good things from the guys (captain and alternates) last year and the guys the two years before,” he said.
“We had some great leaders who showed us how to keep our cool in tough situations. We are going to have to continue to do that this year, as well.
“We will just have to keep the boys chill and in the right set of mind, keep the boys together and close.
“That is something important our leaders showed us in the years before (this one).”
Coming off the franchise’s most successful season, Cadieux-Fredette acknowledged the Rock are determined to make their way back to the Centennial Cup Championship.
“It would mean the world for us to get back there,” he said.
“It is the best experience I have had in hockey, ever. Those 10 days were tremendous.
“I am hoping to bring all the boys together and be in the same mind set as last year, to get there for one last time and finish my Junior ‘A’ career on the right note.
“That would be great, for sure.”
One of the only downsides to winning a league championship and competing in the Centennial Cup Championship is the shortness of the off season that follows.
“I took a good two, two-and-a-half weeks off, not thinking about anything (hockey related) at all,” Cadieux-Fredette said.
“I played some golf to get my mind off of it.”
With his mind clear, Cadieux-Fredette was able to focus on getting ready for the upcoming season.
The Rock main camp will wrap up on Friday with the team’s second Team Black vs Team White game at the Whitney Arena, at 6 p.m.
They will then head to Collingwood for the 2023 Cottage Cup exhibition tournament where they will face off against the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians on Monday and the OJHL’s Trenton Golden Hawks on Tuesday.
The Rock will open the 2023-24 NOJHL regular season with a pair of road games, taking on the Cubs in Greater Sudbury on Friday, Sept. 8, and the Vikings in Elliot Lake on Saturday, Sept. 9.