by Brian Rappleyea
Braxton Ross has developed into a key player on Head Coach Kyle Makaric’s Ottawa Junior Senators:
“Braxton built up a lot of trust last year and he’s continued to develop. He’s an ’05, but he plays with the maturity of a 20-year-old. We can use him in any situation, offensive or defensive, against the other team’s best players. You get the best from him every time he’s on the ice.”
“You can’t have a successful team without guys like Braxton. He can fill any need. You only have to tell him something once and he gets it. He’s just a naturally smart player.”
Ross’s time with the Junior Senators began when he became the twentieth overall pick of the 2020 CCHL draft. Between then and now, he has contributed to a Bogart Cup championship, scored a goal in game three of last year’s Final, and amassed a wealth of experience as this year’s Bogart Cup Final progresses.
“In 2021-22 I was a younger player; I’m a year older now and have that experience of playing in the league, which has really helped,” said Ross.
That experience has paid dividends for the team, with Ross’ points production increasing five-fold and his points per game increasing three-fold. In the 2021-22 season, Ross bagged three goals and as many assists in 28 games for a points-per-game average of .21. This time around Ross has tallied 18 goals and added 15 assists in 52 games played for a much-improved points-per-game average of .63. While he has shined on the offensive end of the ice, the defensive end is where Ross is as prideful of his game as any other part:
“I enjoy shutting down the opponent and I take pride in defensive plays,” explained Ross, who has been integral role in shutting down opponents’ top lines during the playoffs. “I’m a 200-foot guy. I strive to be detailed, hardworking, and a high IQ player. You have to value positional play and reading the play to be successful, and I do that as best as I can.”
Having gotten into the game at around four or five years old by his father, Jon, and a winger for most of his life, Ross has grown up in the Ottawa area and currently attends All Saints Catholic High School in Kanata.
In addition to his skills on the ice, you may also find Ross at the driving range or playing a round of eighteen holes in or around the area, where he has developed his game and has a handicap of around ten, well below the average handicap of 16.
The Junior Senators are coming off of a 7-4 win over the Smiths Falls Bears in game five of the Bogart Cup Final, and are currently leading the series three games to two. OJS travels to Smiths Falls on Tuesday for game six and a chance to put their hands on a fourth consecutive Bogart Cup.