Special to The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: When the Lindsay Jr. A Muskies regular season comes to an end, later this month, it will mark the end of the Jr. A line for forward Emerson Ducasse, as he will be aging out. While Ducasse has only played one season with the Muskies, and only one season total in the OJHL (Ontario Junior Hockey League), his road to get here has certainly been an interesting one.
The Toronto native tells me he played “A” hockey while growing up in Toronto. When he was 14 he made the move to “AA”, and at 15, when he was unable to crack the “AAA” line up in his own age group, he played Midget “AA”. Pretty standard story to that point.
Things got a little more interesting when he turned 16. He left home in Toronto to play prep school hockey, at Northwood School in Upstate New York. When he got there though he was unable to crack the line up of the top team, so he wound up playing for their development team that year. After that, he was headed to Chicago where he played prep school hockey for Lake Forest Academy, there he was able to make the top team and better showcase his skills.
I’ll let Emerson take it from here.
“Some scout saw me and thought my style of play would be perfect for Sweden, so I jumped at the opportunity and went overseas to play for Borås Hockey Club, outside of Gothenburg. Everything was free, team provided equipment from head to toe, gave me a huge 3 Bedroom 2 bathroom apartment, and drove me wherever I needed to go. We were on the ice twice a day, skills in the morning, systems at night, workouts between practices. I got to learn what it was like to be a professional hockey player, as the Junior team practiced with the pro team. I started out playing Division 1 Junior hockey, which is a very competitive level of Junior hockey, and actually got to play a couple games for the Pro team, which was awesome. They got like 5000 fans a game, and European fans are CRAZY. Erik Karlsson, Lars Eller and a couple other big time NHLers actually played for Borås HC, before they went to the NHL, so that was cool being apart of the same organization as them.
During the Christmas break I was traded to Grästorp Ice Klub, to play for their Junior Team. We ended up going 14-0 after I got there, and won everything, moving the team up to the Swedish Elit League for the next season, which is a very good league, lots of guys get drafted to the NHL from that league”, Ducasse told me, via email.
In the following summer Emerson was faced with a tough decision. Go back to Sweden for his last year of Junior hockey, or return to Canada with an eye on trying to land an NCAA scholarship. He chose to return to Canada and wound up with the Lindsay Muskies. It’s unknown yet whether that will pay off for him. He currently has an application in with Chatham University in Pittsburgh, (NCAA D3). He says there has been some interest from Ohio University, and that he has also applied to Western, and Queens.
When the season ends Ducasse plans to head back to Sweden to work in a marketing business with some former teammates from his time over there, then he plans a return to Toronto for the summer months before the next season of school and hockey begins.
Although his stay here in Lindsay has been a relatively short one he has had nothing but good things to say about the team, the town, and the fans.
“Certainly was an interesting season, don’t think any of us expected the results that we got. Coming out of it though, you have to take away the positives. Dan West has done a phenomenal job keeping the group motivated every single day, and reminding us that we play because we love the game, not because of the score. At times we pulled off huge wins, but then seemed to slip up for the next couple of games. Hockey is a game of many ups and downs, and with a season like the one we had this year; it really separates those who value the game, from those who just like to win. And that’s why we are all still here, competing every single night. The fans especially too, continued to come out and cheer us along every Friday night, which shows a lot on the character of not only the organization, but the town of Lindsay as well. I have to thank everyone involved in the organization, for allowing me with the opportunity to play Junior “A” hockey, and the loyal fans who had our backs all season long”.
There was one more thank that Emerson wanted to add, and that was to the billet family, the Jarvis’, who took him in for the first half of the season.
“Jennine and Mike and the whole family were amazing taking me in and making feel apart of the family. I really enjoyed my time there. And their kids Hunter, Devyn, Courtney, and Kamryn were so much fun to be around all the time. Again they’re a great family, miss them a lot, and I gotta thank them for everything they did for me. Thank you”.
We reserve the right to remove any and all comments for any reason. Comments with swearing will be deleted without exception.