Dallas Ice Jets forward Yannick Aubé likes to score goals. He has been scoring since age five and shows no signs of stopping in the
upcoming 2013-2014 season.
"You score more goals when you play forward," says Aubé. "That was the best reason for me to play forward and not defense."
The 19-year-old form Montréal, Quebec is no stranger to the ice. He started skating when he was three years old and began playing at age five. The young player has fond memories of watching his father play hockey.
"My dad was playing at a higher level, but someone hit him on the knee so he couldn't play anymore. I really liked watching him when I was a kid so I thought I would try and play. I started playing and I really loved it. So I just kept going."
While playing his last year in Topeka, Kansas, Aubé received a call from the Ice Jets. Aubé knew it was only a matter of time before he needed to pick a new program. It was all the ice time, as well as the off-ice training the Ice Jets offered, that swayed the teen forward to head to Dallas to play.
"They have off-ice training after each practice and two hours of ice time. No other team offered two hours of ice and two hours of off-ice in the same day. That's really why I went with the Ice Jets instead of another team."
Aubé continues to enjoy the rigorous training hours as well
as head coach Paul Taylor's ability to motivate the team.
"He's always pushing every guy to be at his best, every day.
He wants the best out of everyone, he knows what he wants, and he's really picky
about what he wants. He'll push you to be at your best."
Aubé feels that hard work is a key asset to his game. Standing at 5'7" he believes he needs to work that much harder to acquire the desired points.
"I'm not a tall guy so I have to work hard. I'm a hard
worker. I can score goals when I'm in the zone, and I'm a smart player."
Aubé is quite versatile as he can play on both the right and
left wing, a decision he says is best left to the coaching staff.
"I don't really care what side I'm playing," Aubé says. "I
prefer playing right wing because I'm left handed. It's easier to get out of
the zone. But it's really up to where coach wants me."
Aubé is entering his second and final year with the Dallas
Ice Jets, and this season he hopes to be a key factor in the Ice Jets advancing
to the final round, and going on to win the Throne Cup.
"I hope we can make it into the playoffs, and this year make
the final round. That would be really great."
Last year Aubé picked up 19 goals and 36 assist for his team
in the regular season, in addition to his 3 goals and 3 assist in the
playoffs. It was a playoff run Aubé says
ended too soon.
"Last year we went into the playoffs and didn't really do
great so this year I hope we can find what we were missing last year and make
it into the final round."
Aubé says he hopes to score even more goals this season in
an effort to improve his numbers so he can continue to play.
"I'm hoping to have a great season. Get some points on goal
so I can move up and play for a major league team or maybe a college team would
Although college is not out of the question, Aubé has his
sights set on playing on a much larger scale.
"Maybe playing in Europe, or maybe if I'm able to, playing
in the United States for an AHL team. I know it would be very difficult to make
the NHL," Aubé acknowledges. "I really don't care which league it is, as long
as I can play I will be happy."
"Memories with the
Aubé says his favorite thing about the Ice Jets junior
program is playing in the United States, where he gets the opportunity to play
with a lot of different players in many different age ranges.
"For me it was going out of my country and playing in the
US. I like playing with different people of different ages," he says. "Very
different from all the other leagues I've played in. You can play a 16-year-old
with a 20-year-old so that's a lot of fun."
One of his favorite places to go on the road is Colorado. Aubé
grew up a fan of the Quebec Nordiques centre Joe Sakic. In 1995, the franchise later
became the Colorado Avalanche; Aubé is now a proud Avalanche fan. Sakic is his
favorite player and Aubé grew up watching him.
"I like to go to Colorado. We went there last year for games
and it was really nice. I have always wanted to go there so it was nice to get
the chance. And my favorite team is from there."
Aubé also enjoyed playing in Idaho. He recalls Idaho as
being a fun hockey town.
"I like Idaho too,
where we went for league playoffs," he says. "It was a little town and everyone
was talking to you about hockey."
What Aubé takes away most from the program is the over all
team environment, and working together. He enjoys learning different things
about his teammates.
"You have to be able to get along with a lot of different
people. And click with a lot of different people at the same time. If you are
not able to talk to people then you won't be able to play hockey," he says.
"Hockey is kind of like your second family, because we are all, together every day.
You get along with a lot of different people."
However different these junior players may be, they always
manage to come together and focus on their common goal: the win. A goal Aubé
agrees they should all have in common.
"I hope that's everyone's goal! That's what we want!"
Photo by Mark Mauno.
Njeri Sims is a video
editor, writer, and fashion designer living in Dallas.
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