Jeffery a leader on and off the ice
CLEARVIEW TWP. — Stayner Siskins team captain Lucas Jeffery is leading the Siskins by example on and off the ice.
The 20-year-old forward with the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) team is now in his fifth year with the Siskins. The Stayner native grew up playing hockey with Stayner Minor Hockey before joining the Siskins as an associated player in his 16th year.
His strengths have always been his work ethic and his ability to joust in the corners, but through experience he has grown as a playmaker and goal scorer, said Siskins head coach Dave Steele.
“One thing that is consistent with him is his work ethic. It’s the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t think anybody outworks Lucas. He’s a hard worker.”
Growing up on his family’s cash crop farm, Jeffery is used to daily work at home. He now also works full time at his uncle’s Jeffery Custom Hardwood Flooring company so he has some days as long as 18 hours.
Steele said he likes to chose a captain with experience, commitment to the team, a local resident where possible and leadership skills.
“It was a no brainer to choose him ... He has a lot of respect for his teammates and players in opposition. Everybody loves him. He’s a good guy,” said Steele.
Jeffery said it’s rewarding being the captain.
“I always thought about it growing up playing for your home town. I never thought about being captain. But it feels great to be able to represent Stayner in the community while wearing the C.
“I like being a role model to the new guys and explain to them how things work. That’s rewarding — people looking up to you.
Jeffery billeted goalie Hayden Ford at his home last year and he drives Kyle Linney to the games and practices this year. He gets the other players ready for different teams and ice surfaces and addresses any problems in the dressing room.
“If the boys are out of line at practices and games, I gotta calm them down and focus,” said Jeffery.
One of his tasks as captain was getting the team ready to play the defending league champions, the Alliston Hornets, for the first time last week.
“Alliston is our real competition and now we got to see how they play and I think we did a good job playing against them.”
Jeffery also leads by example on the ice. The five-foot-nine-inch and 160-pound player is often seen in the corners battling much larger players for the puck.
“That’s the way I play. Do the corners, do all the grinding. Someone has to do it,” he said.
Steele said his skill in the corners is unparalleled.
“There’s not an equivalent for board work. He can evade checks and evade losing the puck. He’s very skilled at getting the puck in a battle in the corner,” said Steele.
With 18 points this season (9g, 9a), Jeffery is also proving himself offensively.
Experience has resulted being better positioned to assist and score goals.
“Make decisions on where to be and how to play. That’s something that’s improving by virtue that he’s been here so long and knows the game and knows the league,” said Steele.
As captain, Jeffery said he is working on getting the team to play hard from the puck drop.
“The start for us is always a struggle,” he said.
Jeffery could hold the captain title for next year provided he remains healthy and life doesn’t take him in another direction.
“Retaining your players year to year is the one of the most successful parts of hockey ... I would hope 100% he would come back as captain,” Steele said.
Jeffery has had shoulder injuries in the past and currently tapes his left and plays with a brace for his right.
“I’m interested in it, yes. If I don’t hurt myself, I will play hockey next year.”