Mike Ulmer has worked for seven news organizations including the National Post and, most recently, the Toronto Sun. Mike has written about the Leafs for 10 years and wrote Captains, a book about the club's greatest leaders.
October 24, 2006
(TORONTO) -- Brent Aubin has a plan.
|Brent Aubin is looking to jump to the Marlies after this season with the Remparts.(Getty Images/NHLI) |
Torch the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, then, next year, square his sights on a meaningful role with the Toronto Marlies.
"My goal is to make sure I play on the first two lines in the American Hockey League next year," said the 20-year-old right winger. "Right now, I have to improve, I have to make better reads of the play and improve my skating."
So while a stint on the Marlies might have acclimatized him for life in the American League, Aubin, a captain of the Quebec Remparts, can develop both his on-ice skills and his leadership.
He has one of the best role models available in Patrick Roy, who as owner, coach and general manager led the Remparts to a Memorial Cup last spring. Roy was only the seventh rookie to capture the trophy. The Remparts have been widely picked to make it two titles in a row, thanks in large measure to the presence of Aubin who Roy acquired from Rouyn-Noranda.
"Playing for Patrick is pretty amazing," said Aubin. "He's got that passion. When he's talking to you, in a game, at practice, he has it all the time. Every night we play, it doesn't matter if it's the best team in the league or the worst, he wants to win so bad."
Roy even has an alter ego he brings out when the Remparts turn in a lazy performance.
"He tells us, "if you won't work, meet Mr. Patrick. That means a lot of skating."
|Patrick Roy led Aubin and the Remparts to the Memorial Cup win last spring. |
A native of Saint-Jerome, north of Montreal, Aubin is doing his part to lift the Remparts. He sits sixth in scoring in the Quebec league with 18 goals and 30 points in 15 games. He won the league's player of the week honours last week with nine goals and five assists in just four games and stands as the QMJL ironman with 181 straight games.
Undrafted out of the Q, he was signed to a free-agent contract by the Maple Leafs in September after an impressive performance at rookie camp. Aubin has been a gunner throughout his junior career but his skating and size has always been suspect.
That's why it meant so much to him that the Leafs signed him out of rookie camp.
"It lessened the pressure on me. When I came back with a contract in my pocket, I had no pressure for this year."
No pressure, perhaps, but plenty of work to be done.
"This is my fifth year of junior. I'm working hard in practice and in games; I'm working hard at being a good captain. If I was playing with the Marlies I would probably be on the fourth line. This way, I can contribute a lot."