OJS Player Profile: Lucas Staresinic

by Tim Morris

After what at first was seemingly a blur, the Junior A game has slowed down for the Ottawa Junior Senators’ first-year center/forward Lucas Staresinic.

That in turn, has allowed him to showcase his talent as a two-way pivot, who plays both ends of the ice equally well and, who has an exceptional hockey IQ to go with it.

“I think my biggest improvement is just in making plays,” said the native of Waterdown, Ontario. “I’m making passes I didn’t make earlier. I’m reading plays better and my shot is stronger. The game itself is very fast, but I’ve realized that there is time to make the right plays.”

It was a big step up from AAA hockey with the Hamilton Huskies U18 team to junior hockey in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL).

With additional game experience, the 18-year-old made the adjustment to the speed and physicality of the CCHL and is now a more comfortable and confident player, just in time to help Ottawa in its playoff push.

As he noted, with the more “time”, he’s making plays using his great vision to see openings in defenses.

During the just completed regular season, Staresinic appeared in 46 games, producing seven goals to go with nine assists. He tallied the game-winner and added an assist in a December 4th victory over the Pembroke Lumber Kings.

“A lot of it was mental, gaining confidence and thinking positive,” said Staresinic.

The 5-10, 160-pounder is a swift and agile skater who is no longer over-thinking on the ice, but skating with a freedom that brings out the best in his all-around play.

Staresinic also gave credit to the Junior Senators coaching staff for helping him make the transition to junior hockey and to grow as a player.

“The coaches were great,” Staresinic pointed out. “They’ve seen it before, and they understood what I was going through. They worked with me and talked me through things and really helped me process the game.”

In the end, the Junior Senators got exactly the player they thought they were getting when they signed Staresinic.

“He’s so smart without the puck,” said Ottawa coach Kyle Makaric. “He just knows what to do wherever he is on the ice. He thinks the game through at a very high level; he picks up things right away. He’s a good, hard-working kid with a lot of upside.”

In essence, the type of player the Junior Senators see as helping to keep them on top.

There is another side to Staresinic off the ice. He’s enrolled at the University of Ottawa studying kinesiology and juggling classes around practices and games.

“It’s good to have balance, diversity,” he explained. However, when he gets to the ice rink, it’s all about hockey.

He’s looking forward to competing with the Junior Senators in the post-season as the regular season champs look to add to their run of three straight CCHL championships.