He may be small in stature, but North Stars head coach Brandon Heck believed recent acquisition Brad Girard's 5'7" frame won't be an issue in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
"We've been interested in him for a while," Heck said after Friday's practice, one day ahead of their home game against the 12-5-2 Weyburn Red Wings. "He's intelligent. He's quick. I think we're big already, so it allows us to have a smaller guy with some offence. He's a hard worker and tenacious on the puck. [His size] won't matter."
Girard was acquired from the Yorkton Terriers earlier this week in exchange for a player development fee.
He didn't play a game for the Terriers, who acquired him from the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League on Oct. 10.
The Slave Lake, Alta., native had two goals and seven assists in seven games with the Grizzlys, including a five-point game at the AJHL showcase on Sept. 28.
"I'm more of a playmaker, passer," Girard said after practice, where he was playing alongside Chaseton Braid and American Ryan Gil. "I hope to add a little secondary scoring. Help put the puck in the net. That's my game."
The goal of the trade, as with the additions of linemates Braid and Gil, is to add secondary scoring.
The top line of Layne Young, MacGregor Sinclair, and Dakota Huebner has scored 28 of the team's 55 goals (not including shootout goals), which is over 50 per cent.
"[Girard] adds a different dynamic on our second, third line right now," Heck said. "We want three scoring lines and we think he can deliver that. Keep our forward depth and create good competition amongst our players to stay in the lineup."
Girard also has experience with a current North Star, as he played midget AAA for one year with Huebner in 2015-16.
They were even on the same line with the Leduc Oil Kings. Girard posted 37 points in 34 games that year, while Huebner had 29 points in 30 games.
"Yeah we really meshed together," Girard said, although they won't be skating together (at least for now) for the North Stars. "[Tomorrow] I just hope to prove that I can play at this level."
Other notes from Friday's practice
Starting goaltender Taryn Kotchorek is back from an upper-body injury and will start on Saturday against the Wings. The North Battleford native is 4-0-1 this season with a .927 save percentage.
Forwards Keith Anderson and Connor McIntosh will return to the lineup after each serving their two game suspensions for their role in last Tuesday's brawl versus Kindersley. The duo were skating with rookie Elijah Loon-Stewardson at practice.
Meanwhile forward Matthias Urbanski will sit out his second straight game, as he was wearing a red non-contact jersey at practice.
Forward Josh Sielsky is also no longer with the team.
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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