OTTAWA- Head Coach and General Manager Martin Dagenais is proud to announce
that forward Cole Spencer has committed to the team for the 2019-20 season.
The 17 year old forward from Pickering, Ontario is currently playing with the Ridley
College Tigers of the Midwest Prep Hockey League, the same program that produced
OJS forwards Owen Cole and Colin Marshall. And right now, Spencer is focused on
helping the Tigers win a championship.
"We're actually heading into the playoffs this week, and we feel we have the team to win
it all. As a leader on the team, it will be important for me to contribute in any way I can."
The diminutive but speedy forward thinks he can thrive in the CCHL, a league where size
doesn't matter much anymore. Most of the top players in the CCHL can skate and more
importantly, they understand how to play the game the right way. Spencer can do both.
He also thinks that because of the way he plays, he'll fit right in with the style of play of
the Junior Senators.
"The CCHL is one of the best development hockey league across Canada, and it is well
known for helping players move on to the next level. After talking to several teams from
the league, I decided to commit to the Junior Senators. I have former teammates that are
now playing in Ottawa, and they kept telling me about how amazing the coaching staff is,
and how they threat their players in a professional manner. I can't wait to get started, and
be reunited with Owen (Cole), and Colin (Marshall). It will be a honour to wear the
Junior Senators' uniform."
The former Ajax-Pickering minor hockey star does admit that the success that Owen Cole
has had in the CCHL this season had an influence on him choosing where he wanted to
"Ever since I've been at Ridley College, Owen (Cole) has inspired me to keep the dream
going. The amount of time and effort he puts into the little things makes a huge difference
in his game. He has been an inspiration for me in how I prepare and work on my game.
There's a reason why he's been a captain pretty much wherever he's been. His success in
the CCHL is not a fluke, and I hope to follow in his footsteps."
In order for Spencer to achieve his goals, he'll have to keep playing his brand of hockey,
which is similar to what Brendan Gallagher does for the Montreal Canadiens.
"Despite being a smaller player, I have learned to play the game with toughness and grit.
My opponents, who are usually bigger than me, are often not expecting to get pushed
around when we battle in the corners. I love bringing that element of surprise. I'm a gifted
skater, but I also have a very high hockey IQ, and I can make plays at high speed. I really
think those combinations of skills will help me succeed in the CCHL. I am extremely
excited to get things going in September."
For Dagenais, who is now into his fifth season as the Head Coach and GM of the Ottawa
Jr. Senators, the signing of Spencer comes at the right time as the team will be losing at
least seven of their 13 forwards next season.
"With four 20 year olds up front, and the trio of Darcy Walsh, Ethan Manderville, and
Kyle Jackson leaving to pursue opportunities at a higher level, we felt we had to commit
to two or three forwards before the start of main camp. Our assistant coach Jamie Mayo,
who was also responsible for bringing in Owen Cole and Colin Marshall, felt that
committing to Cole Spencer was the right thing to do. I contacted the player and offered
him a spot for the 2019-20 season, and the next day he committed to us. It also helps that
he'll be coming off two full seasons at Ridley College. Mike McCourt and his group
know what they're doing down there. There's a reason that the majority of the players
they sent to our league end up playing Div. 1 hockey later in their career."
Spencer will definitely bring a lot of speed and grit to an Ottawa team that is always
looking to find character players to add to their lineup. He's the type of player that will do
whatever he can to help the team win, and his long term goal, like most CCHL players,
will be to one day play in the NCAA.
"My short-term goal will be to contribute to the success of next year’s team and develop,
not only as a player but as a person. I feel this will put me one step further to my end goal
of receiving a NCAA Div. 1 scholarship. That's the ultimate goal at the end of the line."