Nathan Plessis, a former Sicamous Eagle, remains eager to build on the successes of his first NCAA hockey season despite the cancellation of his second season due to COVID-19.
The Salmon Arm native, who is now on the Brown University Bears roster, recalled an earlier hockey career setback in which he missed most of his first midget hockey season due to a broken arm. Plessis bounced back from the broken bone, attending some BCHL camps but eventually joining the Sicamous Eagles of the KIJHL in order to stay at home. He went on to play for the Eagles from 2014 to 2016 and then joined the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He was named captain of the Bandits in his first season there.
Plessis compared his opening seasons of junior hockey as a 16 and 17 year old to playing on an NCAA roster for the first time.
“Coming out of midget to junior hockey, I think it kind of resembles that step up leaving junior to go to college. The guys are just bigger, stronger, faster. It was a big step for me, but I felt pretty good that year,” he said.
He credits his time with the Eagles for helping him grow as a player and preparing him for the next level of competition. He shared positive memories of road trips with the team and a first taste of victory in overtime.
After signing with Brown, whose hockey team plays in NCAA division 1, the top college hockey league in the U.S., Plessis encountered stiffer competition which got in the way of the steady scoring numbers he was putting up in Brooks. In his first season in the NCAA Plessis contributed two goals and two assists in 22 games compared to 26 goals and 23 assists in 45 games during his last season in Brooks.
Once NCAA play resumes following the COVID-19 shutdown, greater consistency is one of Plessis’ goals. He said he feels he played a good role on the team as a freshman given the fact he was facing off against 25-year-old men and getting used to a much faster game, but he isn’t fully satisfied and wants to improve.
Temporarily back at home in Salmon Arm, Plessis is keeping up his studies in economics and getting in some ice time to prepare for his return to Brown.