Welland Junior Canadians defenceman Nathan MacDuff came to his second training camp with the junior B hockey team game ready and determined to join the elite blue-liners in the Golden Horseshoe Conference.
He was focusing on improving his play on the defence-first team, and any thoughts of receiving a letter – either C for team captain or, more likely, A for alternate – far in the back of the 18-year-old Welland native’s mind.
The idea of MacDuff becoming the team’s on-ice leader, however, was a lightbulb that grew brighter and brighter for head coach Keith Osborne. The more the B’s bench boss saw the sophomore’s dedication at practice and coachability, the shorter the list of potential captains became.
Osborne, back for fifth season as Welland head coach, was impressed by MacDuff’s work ethic from the “get to.”
“He came to camp in shape, he was ready to work, and he works hard all the time,” the former NHLer said. “In practice, he does drills full out and the other players can’t help but see that.”
“He looks like he could make a good leader.”
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