After a whirlwind year with the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL, Nicolas Aube-Kubel is not wasting any time preparing for what the upcoming season will have in store for him.
The Flyers second-round selection anticipates an expanded role on his team, which will not only place greater responsibility in the hands of the young forward but also will further aid his development.
“Last year I played on the second line, and I think this year I’m expecting to play on the first line because there’s more space on our team,” Aube-Kubel said. “We have a young team, and good young players. I think it will be time for the young players to take charge of the team.”
This past season, Aube-Kubel appeared in 65 games for the Foreurs and notched 22 goals and 31 assists. In the playoffs he played in 24 more games, tallying an additional 13 points.
With a slow beginning to the season, many underestimated Val-d’Or. Nevertheless, everything fell into place for the team over time.
Aube-Kubel and his teammates captured both the President’s Trophy and the QMJHL Championship, proving their immense talent.
“The beginning of the year was a slow start, but I think after the Christmas break, I stepped up,” stated the forward. “I was expected to show more during the playoffs, and that’s what I did.”
Throughout the year, Aube-Kubel worked on the defensive side of his game, which is something his coaches stressed. He credits much of his playoff success to that added aspect of his game.
With a berth into the 2014 Memorial Cup Tournament, the team further matured and gained valuable experience, which is something the Alberta native will use to his advantage this upcoming year.
With last season to draw upon and increased training during the offseason, the possibilities for the forward are endless.
I think next year you are going to see big things from him, because he is going to get some of that quality ice time. He brings speed, he is a good hockey player and he is competitive. Those are attributes from a forward side that are pretty exciting. - Chris Pryor
“I trained hard this summer because I know next year I’m going to have more ice time and power plays,” Aube-Kubel said. “I know that I am stronger than last year, really stronger.
“The first line last year had a lot of jump,” he added. “I think the first line next year has got to have that same jump too.”
Having not touched the ice since the Foreurs loss in the Memorial Cup Final, Aube-Kubel felt fresh at Development Camp, ready to continue his on ice training and work toward refinement.
Specifically, the forward wants to boost his play in front of the net.
“I think I have to improve this part of my game,” Aube-Kubel explained. “To score goals is really important. If I can do this next year it’ll really help.”
Despite a disappointing end to last season, Aube-Kubel is looking forward to his increased role with Val-d’Or. He knows his team will once again be a strong competitor and that both his future, and the future of the Foreurs, is bright.
“We were the youngest team in the Memorial Cup last year, and this year all the young players will have more experience than the other teams,” Aube-Kubel said. “It’s going to help us next year because these young players will have matured and will be ready to compete.”