WALK-ON VIPER IMPRESSES SPITFIRE BRASS – SIGNS –

LaSalle Viper Daniel Beaudoin remains as one of the final few cuts and continues to turn heads at the OHL Windsor Spitfire camp.  The story below is by Jim Parker of The Windsor Star.  (photo credit – Tyler Brownbridge – Anton Trublin, left – Daniel Beaudoin, right)

As a footnote, Daniel Beaudoin has signed with The Windsor Spitfires on Wednesday, September 9.  We wish him well with his OHL career.  The Vipers have had no shortage of players the last few years that have moved on to the OHL, a huge credit to Bill Bowler and his staff.

Spitfires impressed by free agent forward Daniel Beaudoin

There appeared to be little room for Daniel Beaudoin to squeeze onto the Windsor Spitfires’ roster this season.

The 19-year-old free agent invite, who played the past two seasons for the junior B LaSalle Vipers, has turned a few heads in camp on a team down to its final cut or two.

“I think our roster’s close to set,” said Spitfires general manager Warren Rychel, whose team cut down to 15 forwards after Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Flint Firebirds Saturday when potential overager Brandon Shea left the club after suffering a hip injury.

“(Beaudoin’s) played well and done all the little things. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and he’s pushing guys for jobs.”

A LaSalle Minor Hockey Association and Windsor AAA Zone product, Beaudoin had no plans of trying to make the jump to the OHL until Rychel called him with an invitation to camp in July.

“I wasn’t really planning on it,” the six-foot-one, 186-pound Beaudoin said. “At the beginning of the summer and the end of the season, I just thought I was going to be back to LaSalle, but when I got the call I figured why would I not go give it a shot in the my hometown.

“No matter, when I step on the ice, I try to give it my all.”

With 50 players in camp to start, it didn’t take Beaudoin long to catch the eye of Spitfires head coach Rocky Thompson.

“He’s come out of nowhere,” Thompson said. “He surprised us in camp.”

Windsor brought him in to play exhibition games, but has yet to make a contractual commitment to Beaudoin.

“We need some depth in our lineup and he made that commitment to come in and he wanted to make the commitment to go into exhibition with us,” Thompson said.

“We were outright, it’s not a spot on the team, it’s not guaranteed anything and he was comfortable with that. He just wanted the opportunity to earn a spot. We’re in that process now.”

He didn’t record a point in Sunday’s win or in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Oshawa Generals, but he’s still made an impression.

“Just because you’re not getting points doesn’t mean I’m not helping out, especially on the (penalty) kill,” Beaudoin said. “I just want to eat pucks, kill off penalties, lay the body and get things going for the guys.”

He got behind his check, went hard to the net and drew Windsor’s first power-play chance Sunday.

Later, a big hit by Beaudoin in the corner led to a turnover and a great scoring chance in front he was unable to convert.

As well, he was on Windsor’s penalty kill all game and the lone forward out when the Spitfires were able to kill off a two-man Flint advantage.

“He had a great game,” Thompson said. “He played really well. He’s smart and I thought he was good (Saturday) night, too. He was killing penalties, we had a situation five-on-three, which isn’t easy at any time of the year, but especially this early.

“He ran his routes well, which is a good sign so early because we haven’t had time to practice (killing penalties). It’s a lot of verbal and chalk talk and it’s nice to see a player that can do those things on the ice very quickly. Those are the little things. They’re not always rewarded on the game gamesheet, but at the end of the day they’re a big contributor as to the reason why you on.”

Sunday, Logan Brown got the game-winning goal with a minute and 40 left in regulation. Cristiano DiGiacinto added an empty-net goal with Luke Kirwan and Daniil Vertiy also scoring. Rookie Michael DiPietro made 26 saves for the win in net.

In Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Oshawa, Brown and Vertiy scored against the Generals, who rode an early 3-0 lead to victory. Tecumseh natives Jack Studnicka and Joey Manchurek each had a goal and an assist.

As for Beaudoin, he’ll continue the fight to grab a roster spot with the Spitfires, who are off until Sept. 16 when the club heads to St. Catharines to play the Niagara IceDogs.

“Rocky just told me no news is great news,” Beaudoin said. “Coming from his mouth, I would take that as good news.

“Obviously, I’d like to sign a piece a paper, but it doesn’t always fall that way and you just have to keep working and hopefully they want to sign me pretty soon.”

jparker@windsorstar.com

twitter.com/winstarparker

David Honsberger

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