Recorder & Times – Jonathon Brodie
Brockville Braves head coach Jesse Winchester brought up a good point when talking about forward Jordi Jefferson that might be a scary thought for opponents.
“It’s his first month in the league,” Winchester said when talking about the rookie’s relative lack of point production that he is sure will soon come.
Jefferson has three goals and two assists so far on his rookie campaign, but showed a glimpse of his scoring potential last Friday when he potted one of the prettiest – and pretty unusual – goal seen this season in Brockville.
Jefferson got on a breakaway while the Braves were shorthanded. The 19-year-old said the puck was rolling a bit when he was free-and-clear, so he flipped the puck up to himself and caught it before putting the rubber back on the ice and almost as soon as it went down he snapped a shot top corner for his third goal of the season and his second while Brockville has been down a man.
It looked like he didn’t do the nifty play on purpose and it left fans with a similar reaction to Winchester.
“We didn’t understand what the heck he was doing,” the coach said after that game. “I’ve never seen a play like that, but it worked out and good on him.”
The goal, however, is one Jefferson had relatively worked on over summers of training where he got accustomed to catching pucks with his hands and settling it down. His instincts kicked in when he saw the puck rolling around on a breakaway and although it will go down as just another goal in the column, it’s one that will standout to anyone who saw it.
“You don’t think really when you do that sort of thing,” said Jefferson, who put up 65 points in 66 games over three seasons for New York’s Trinity-Pawling School before coming to Brockville. “I would prefer to shoot it. If I could avoid doing that than it’s more the merrier.”
That goal was just a glimpse of what Jefferson can do, but when you watch him regularly and see his full body of work it really gives the strongest argument that he could be something special in Brockville instead of being memorable because of one gorgeous goal.
Jefferson, one of the smallest Braves players standing in at 5-foot-8, creates as many problems as any big man in the league.
In the simplest terms, the Wasaga Beach native is a pest.
Typically, opponents stuff a mitt in his face after whistles and maybe it’s because he’s usually smaller than his opponents or maybe it’s because he has this motor in him that almost always gets him to the opponent’s goalie before anyone.
Jefferson has always been smaller and he’s learned through the years how to use it to his advantage as he twists and turns around opponents, getting by them with a mix of grace and tenacity.
“I definitely don’t shy away from bigger players or this level of hockey,” Jefferson said. “It’s a gritty game and I’ve been a smaller guy my whole life and I’ve just learned how to adapt and tailor my game around it.”
Winchester described Jefferson as a “buzz saw.” It’s likely a big reason why the Braves coach has put him on a line with two of the team’s most veteran CCHL forwards in Eric Faith and Mike McArthur.
There’s a saying Jefferson has heard his whole life – “You shouldn’t be worried if you’re not scoring and getting chances. It’s when you’re not scoring and not getting chances when you should be worried.”
Last Friday he showed what he can do when he gets a chance.
The Braves host the Rockland Nationals on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Original Story at Recorder.ca