The Stingers men’s hockey team adds depth on defence
University sports may be on hiatus this semester, but that doesn’t stop teams from preparing for their next game, whenever that may be.
The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team has remained active since the end of their last season, and have recruited many players since then. One of those players is defenceman Yan Aucoin, who spent the last five years in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Aucoin officially joined the Stingers last May, when the team announced his addition via their Twitter account. Aucoin said his time in the QMJHL was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“My time in the league went really fast,” Aucoin said. “I was really fortunate to live that. I started in the QMJHL at age 16, where I considered myself more of a teenager, and left at age 20, way more mature and capable of facing obstacles of life.”
Coming off a great season with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Aucoin was rewarded for his efforts, being named the 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year. The Stingers’ acquisition described this award as a real honour.
“We had an extremely young team [this past season], and as soon as the Titan got me, the message was clear,” Aucoin said. “They wanted me to help the young players, and act as a big brother. I had the chance to play in all situations. We had really good defencemen on the team, and a great goalie.”
Aucoin described himself as a “defensive defenceman.” He said that even at the junior level, he was already reputed for his defensive skills.
“I think my defensive game is my bread and butter,” Aucoin said. “I take pride in blocking opponents’ best players. I also have a good physique, so it helps. I try to include all those aspects in my game. It’s my pride as a hockey player.”
Stingers head coach Marc-André Élément, who had been watching the defenceman for a year, said Aucoin is one of those players who are good on both sides of the ice. He added that the coaching staff always has big expectations with great defencemen like him, as he’ll have a big role on the team as soon as hockey starts back up.
“I’m sure he’ll have success when the season will start,” Élément said. “He’s someone who’s been captain last year in the QMJHL. He’s a leader. The goal is to recruit the right people, and Aucoin is obviously one of them. We’re really happy about his addition. He’ll also bring a good physical aspect to the team, as we added size on defence with him.”
Aucoin will study in Business while playing for the Stingers. He said he was also in contact with other universities, but he liked the connection he had with Élément and one of the assistant coaches, Jean-Philippe Hamel.
“I liked the fact I felt wanted by the team,” Aucoin said. “I thought I could have an impact on the team right from the start. I also already knew many players from the team, so of course it helped to convince me. I had the chance to visit the facilities last year, and I was satisfied.”
For Aucoin, his goal with his new team is simply to give them his best effort, as he said all games will be challenges.
“We want to win, but we’ll go one game at the time,” Aucoin said. “I don’t want to give myself any specific role, as there are many great defencemen on the team. We’ll see after my time at Concordia if I’m offered a professional contract somewhere, and if that’s an option I surely won’t close the door to it.”
Aucoin said he doesn’t have specific personal expectations for his debut with the Stingers. For him, the goal will be to be ready when his name is called on the bench.
“They finished their season well last year,” Aucoin said. “I think the goal will be to continue on that path and do even better. We’re obviously in nothingness right now, but we’re looking forward for the season to start.”
Photos courtesy of Yan Aucoin