In the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft the Moose Jaw Warriors selected Ben Duperreault in the eighth round, and through hard work and determination this prospect is proving that he’s definitely a diamond in the rough.
Last season he played midget AAA in Notre Dame, however this season he’s suiting up for the Moose Jaw Generals and is the middle of the breakout season. On November 4th Duperreault led the Generals with a goal and five points in an 8-2 win over the Notre Dame Hounds, so far this season he has five goals and 14 points and is second in team scoring.
“Ben’s strengths are skating, tenacity, his commitment to the game, and most importantly his heart,” said Warriors Assistant General Manager and Head Scout Rob Maclachlan. “He lives and breathes hockey every day. Talking to his dad, he says Ben has always wanted to be a Warrior.”
Moose Jaw tied for top spot in the SMAAAHL with an 8-3-1 record, and even though he’s a newcomer to the Generals he says he’s found his way into a leadership role. “I try to lead by example. I’m not a big talker but I like to go out there, play my hardest, and get the job done.”
He currently plays under Generals Head Coach Ray Wareham, and says his current coach along with Warriors Head Coach have similarities. “They’re great coaches, they’re hard on you but they love you. They really get to the players, they treat the players well, and they’re both great guys.”
The Wilcox product has the fortunate situation of having his midget AAA locker room across the hall from his WHL’s team locker room, and says that’s a huge advantage. “It’s great; they always give me tips on how to play better. It’s awesome practicing with them; I have a lot of fun”. Last week he had the chance to skate with the tribe and he says he learned a lot. “Keep your stick on the ice, that’s one thing they told me to do. Make harder passes, they said I’ll be fine if I get that down.”
“I think it’s good for him and good for us,” said Maclachlan on having Duperreault close to the Warriors. “We get to see him all the time, and it’s handy because we can get him into some practices sometimes. Having him a few feet from the team he’ll be playing with in the future gets him used to the environment and will help him to fit in.”
As this season continues, Duperreault says he’s hoping to have the opportunity to suit up with the Warriors sometime during the season. “I’m hoping to get called up for a couple games this year. I’m just going to keep working hard, hopefully things go my way and I get a game, I’m just going to work my butt off if I get that chance.”
When asked if he could compare his game to a current member of the Warriors, Duperreault says he can draw comparisons to a certain forward. “Maybe like a (Sam) Fioretti. He’s a good quick player. He can skate, score, and get to the dirty areas, he’s a good player”.
Even though he share’s similarities with the Warriors leading scorer, Duperreault says he’s looking forward to carving his own identity if he makes the team next year. “I’d be a good fast player, work hard, play my hard out and skate and score.”
As Duperreault and the Warriors look towards his future, Maclachlan says there is a specific area that the 5’7” 155lbs forward needs to focus on. “He needs to work on his strength because of his size. At the next level the players are bigger and stronger and he needs to be stronger. He’s a smart young man, I know he’s studied smaller players like Brayden Point and he uses his size when competing in the WHL.”
The Generals return to action Tuesday, November 6th when they host the Saskatoon Blazers at Mosaic Place. November 10th and 11th they’ll head on the road for a pair of games against the Tisdale Trojans.