Top News

Screaming with the Eagles


TRURO - The Truro Bearcats' frontline took another hit on Wednesday, as veteran sniper Jacob Smith left the team to sign with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Smith, 19, was among the leading scorers for the Bearcats last season and was well on his way to another successful season with 15 points through 12 games this year.

The transaction marks Smith's return to major junior hockey, having played in the Ontario Hockey League as a 16-year-old.

"I always knew it was something I could do," Smith said of the jump. "It was a tough transition going from a major junior to junior A player, but I always thought I could get back."

After starting the year in Cape Breton's training camp, Smith was returned to the Bearcats in September, but signed on to become an affiliated player. Last Wednesday, he got the call to join the club for its game against Acadie-Bathurst.

"It was like an old experience turned new," he said. "It was a lot different than when I was 16. Back then the game seemed faster and the guys were bigger."

After playing three games with Cape Breton, in which he posted one assist and six shots on goal, the club offered him a fulltime spot on the roster. On a young, rebuilding team, Smith will be looked to for experience in his first stint back in major junior since his 16-year-old season.

"I was always looking up back then, but now I'm going to get the chance to be a leader."

While he's still trying to figure out where he fits into the lineup, Smith has been used in both offensive and defensive situations so far - something he is comfortable with.

"I need to be me," Smith said. "That means playing well on offense, but also playing a good two-way game as well. We're still working out the specifics on where I'll play, but I'm happy to be here and do what's asked of me."

In Smith, the Bearcats lose everything the Eagles will gain, and more. In his second season with the team, the Sudbury, Ont., native was counted on as a top-line player after helping lead the team to a Kent Cup championship last season.

While it's tough to see him go, Bearcats coach Shawn Evans said it's a "glass half-full" situation.

"It's Jacob's dream to play major junior and who am I to get in the way of that? I want to do everything I can to make that happen," Evans said. "But I've got a dressing room full of champions in there, and they deserve a player's full commitment."

Smith credits Truro with helping him get back to the level he played at as a 16-year-old in Sault Ste. Marie.

"The team has done countless things for me," he said. "It's been a phenomenal ride. Winning the Kent Cup last year is something I'll remember forever. I really can't say enough about what this team has done."

Evans said the team is looking for new options at forward, having also lost centres Brandon Pye (broken leg/ankle, out at least eight more weeks) and Brandon Bazinet (concussion, left team) to injury, but won't rush into a decision any time soon.

"I'm not running a revolving door service here, where guys come and go. We want to make sure we're getting a good fit and we'll wait until we find that."

 

Smith, 19, was among the leading scorers for the Bearcats last season and was well on his way to another successful season with 15 points through 12 games this year.

The transaction marks Smith's return to major junior hockey, having played in the Ontario Hockey League as a 16-year-old.

"I always knew it was something I could do," Smith said of the jump. "It was a tough transition going from a major junior to junior A player, but I always thought I could get back."

After starting the year in Cape Breton's training camp, Smith was returned to the Bearcats in September, but signed on to become an affiliated player. Last Wednesday, he got the call to join the club for its game against Acadie-Bathurst.

"It was like an old experience turned new," he said. "It was a lot different than when I was 16. Back then the game seemed faster and the guys were bigger."

After playing three games with Cape Breton, in which he posted one assist and six shots on goal, the club offered him a fulltime spot on the roster. On a young, rebuilding team, Smith will be looked to for experience in his first stint back in major junior since his 16-year-old season.

"I was always looking up back then, but now I'm going to get the chance to be a leader."

While he's still trying to figure out where he fits into the lineup, Smith has been used in both offensive and defensive situations so far - something he is comfortable with.

"I need to be me," Smith said. "That means playing well on offense, but also playing a good two-way game as well. We're still working out the specifics on where I'll play, but I'm happy to be here and do what's asked of me."

In Smith, the Bearcats lose everything the Eagles will gain, and more. In his second season with the team, the Sudbury, Ont., native was counted on as a top-line player after helping lead the team to a Kent Cup championship last season.

While it's tough to see him go, Bearcats coach Shawn Evans said it's a "glass half-full" situation.

"It's Jacob's dream to play major junior and who am I to get in the way of that? I want to do everything I can to make that happen," Evans said. "But I've got a dressing room full of champions in there, and they deserve a player's full commitment."

Smith credits Truro with helping him get back to the level he played at as a 16-year-old in Sault Ste. Marie.

"The team has done countless things for me," he said. "It's been a phenomenal ride. Winning the Kent Cup last year is something I'll remember forever. I really can't say enough about what this team has done."

Evans said the team is looking for new options at forward, having also lost centres Brandon Pye (broken leg/ankle, out at least eight more weeks) and Brandon Bazinet (concussion, left team) to injury, but won't rush into a decision any time soon.

"I'm not running a revolving door service here, where guys come and go. We want to make sure we're getting a good fit and we'll wait until we find that."

 

Latest News