Five Eagles Firmly Perched on Hitmen Squad
Northeast Eagles Minor Hockey Association has lots to be proud of lately. Hosting an Atlantic AAA Championship for the first time is special, but what’s extra special is having five alumni playing a significant role on the St. John’s Bantam AAA Hitmen, the Host team. The talented five are Brett Hudson, Will Williams, Brady Mitchelmore, Thomas O’Brien, and Andrew Percy.
To everyone’s delight, both the NEMHA and Hitmen Hockey Club are partnering to host this year’s Atlantic Championships at Jack Byrne Arena from April 5th to the 8th.
All five players share a lot in common, like finding their way on to the ice by age four at the latest, having very supportive parents, or being attracted to the high intensity of AAA hockey. But each player also brings their own unique skill set to the Hitmen squad.
Brett Hudson played six seasons as an Eagle before moving on to regional all-star play, winning an Atlantic Peewee AAA title along the way. According to Head Coach Doug Jackman, “Brett has great offensive skills and his hockey sense allows him to be a versatile player, capable of playing any position up front and in any game situation.”
Brady Mitchelmore played for five seasons in the NEMHA system before moving on to three seasons of DJHL Pooled A level hockey. His development in the DJHL seems to have served him well. Jackman is impressed by Brady’s tremendous speed with or without the puck. “His hands are good in tight and he has a great shot,” observes Jackman. He adds that the centreman is one of the Hitmen’s offensive leaders and very reliable in the face-off circle.
Right winger Will Williams donned the Eagle’s crest for five seasons before catching on with the DJHL Pooled Program for two seasons. Will is known for his strong skating and shooting, so there’s no surprise Coach Jackman is quick to speak about him as an energy type player. “Will thrives on the penalty kill and in tough areas of the rink, like along the boards, in the corners, and in front of the net,” states Jackman.
Forward Andrew Percy skated in the NEMHA system for five seasons before moving on to regional all-star play. Jackman refers to the reliable Percy as “a tremendously smart player with deceptive skills.” He is also complimentary of Percy’s very good release, ability to finish his hits on the forecheck, and effective penalty killing.
Lanky blue liner Thomas O'Brien wore the Eagles jersey for numerous seasons like the rest before moving on to regional all-star competition. According to Jackman, “Thomas’s heavy shot provides some secondary scoring for us from the blue line. He’s a stay-at-home type defenseman, who is reliable in his own end and does an effective job looking after the front of our net.”
Five Eagles on one team, chasing one goal, and doing Northeast Minor Hockey proud!