Allan Bristowe, Media Director
December 18, 2013, Prince George (ISN) – Cariboo Cougars head coach Bryan MacLean didn’t really know what to expect when Steven Jandric showed up at the Cariboo Cougars training camp this year. After spending last season in Quebec, MacLean said Jandric was a bit of a wildcard this year – but a few months into the season MacLean can’t help but be impressed.
Just days after Jandric was named the BC Major Midget League player of the month, the Cougars forward was listed by the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks. “It’s really cool getting listed by them, (Cougars GM and Winterhawks scout Trevor Sprague) talked about how great an organization they are,” Jandric said. “It should be fun if I decide to go that route.”
It didn’t long for Jandric to re-adjust to the B.C. style after playing midget triple-A in Quebec last year and he was quick to credit his teammates generally and his linemates specifically for helping get off the hot start this season. He has 13 goals and 18 assists in 24 games and his 31 points have him tied for the Cougars scoring lead with linemate Jesse Roach. The two have developed chemistry, but MacLean said no matter the line combination, Jandric has shown the ability to make his teammates better.
The offensive numbers speak for themselves, but Jandric said one of his big goals this year is to develop into an all-around player. “I need to keep working on my (defensive) zone coverage and getting the puck out quicker,” he said. His coach has taken notice, describing Jandric as a 200-foot player.
“He’s an offensive guy, but he takes a lot of pride in working hard,” MacLean said. “He wants to be on the penalty kill, he wants to be on the power play, he wants to be in every situation.”
The Cariboo Cougars also know who and when they play at the Mac’s Midget tournament in Calgary. The Cats will open December 27th at 4:15 p.m. against the Notre Dame Argos from the Saskatchewan Midget League. The Argos occupy first place in their league.
The following day the Cats face the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs from Alberta at 1:30. On the 29th of December the Cougars meet one of their arch rivals from the BC league in the Okanagan Rockets at 10:45 in the morning. The final round robin game will be against the Calgary Flames at 8:00 a.m. on December 30th.