Veteran centre will help young players adjust to rigors of Jr. ‘B’ hockey
By Pat Payton
Jacob Bloomfield says he will lead by example.
But the 19-year-old centreman will also be vocal on the bench and in the dressing room when he has to be. St. Marys Lincolns recently named Bloomfield as their team captain, heading into the 2020-21 GOJHL season.
“It’s definitely an honour,” the Burford native told the Independent. “There’s a lot of history here in St. Marys. Going into my third year with the team, I’m really excited. I know I’m going to be in an older-guy situation this year, being a veteran on the team.
“I’m definitely not afraid to be vocal. I like to talk a lot, and I’ll make sure the guys are held accountable so they play to the best of their abilities.”
Will help groom younger players
The hard-working Bloomfield is looking forward to “grooming” the young players on the Lincs, and helping them adjust to the rigors of Jr. ‘B’ hockey.
“I want to be there for all my teammates, help the younger guys with anything they need to know, and help them to be better players in this league.
“With being captain, I know I have to show up and give 100 percent every night. Even if I’m not putting the puck in the net or getting points, I have to let the guys know I’m a positive guy on the bench and make sure we’re ready to win.”
Following the 2019-20 season, Bloomfield was selected as the winner of the D.R. Stevens Award for leadership. He had 34 points (11-23) in 47 regular-season games, and three of his goals were game winners.
A strong penalty-killer, Bloomfield was also named defensive player-of-the-month for February in the Western Conference.
Young, skilled team
General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations Greg Smale says the Lincolns will be a younger squad, but also very skilled this coming season. He agrees that a leader like Bloomfield will help many of those first-year players make a successful transition to the quick pace of Junior hockey.
“Jacob knows what this league and St. Marys is all about,” Smale said. “He’s going to show the young guys how to play Junior hockey, so I think he’s a perfect choice. When you first look at Jacob, he’s shorter in stature, but he plays bigger than what he actually is.
“When you watch him play, you’re energized and he’s someone you can get behind. He’s one of those guys who can score goals, make passes, lay hits, block shots and kill penalties. He just plays the game the right way.
“(Graduating forward) Cayse Ton was an excellent captain for us last year, and Jacob is in that same mould. He might not score a goal every night, but you know he’s going to give 110 percent and the other kids will follow.”
The GM says other returning veterans such as Justin McIntyre, Jordan Daer, Brennan Long and Kyle Kuznik will also show the rookies “how to play the game the right way. Leading by example is the best way to go.”
In other Lincs’ news, the team recently acquired defenceman Sterling Wolters, 18, from the St. Thomas Stars in a straight cash deal.
From the Windsor area, Wolters is listed at 5 ft., 11 inches and 187 lbs. He had four goals and nine assists for the Stars last season.