Beraldo a perfect fit for IceDogs
Adrien Beraldo is expected to be one of three overage players for the Niagara IceDogs this season. Photo by: ALEX LUPUL.
Adrien Beraldo finally found a home with the Niagara IceDogs last season.
The 20-year-old Stoney Creek native began his junior career with the Ancaster Avalanche at the junior B level before moving on to the Peterborough Petes and then the Kingston Frontenacs.
The IceDogs picked up Beraldo to add depth and experience on a talented, but young blueline.
“Adrien really rejuvenated his career when he joined us last year and turned into a top D-man for us,” IceDogs head coach Billy Burke said. “He plays tough and physical and is strong defensively, but also has a very heavy shot and good offensive instincts.”
Beraldo gave credit to the IceDogs for making the transition to Niagara seamless.
“The coaching staff is great, the organization is great,” Beraldo said. “Niagara is my third (OHL) team and the way they treat us is pretty much like an NHL team. We have a great group of guys so that made the transition a lot easier and the training staff are second to none. They are all great people and all well educated in what they do.”
Beraldo, who quickly assumed a leadership role when he joined the IceDogs, is expected to be one of three overage players on the roster this season.
“As an OA, you’re the oldest on the team and you have more experience than a lot of the younger guys,” he said. “Even last year and the year before I always had a leadership mentality. I’m always doing the right things and doing the extra stuff. That’s the way I carry myself and the type of person I am.”
Burke feels Beraldo will be a key piece of the defence again this season.
“As our back end matures, I expect Adrien to be a strong veteran presence on the ice and continue to provide leadership off it,” he said.
Beraldo has been biding his time waiting for training camp to start, working out diligently in the gym daily as well as skating a couple of times a week.
“It’s obviously weird. It’s upsetting, to be honest,” he said when asked how he is dealing with the downtime due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has pushed back the start of the Ontario Hockey League season. “I’ve been looking forward to getting back and playing. The way the season ended and then having the day pass where you’re supposed to be back there pass and now were in October and we’re still at home.”
Beraldo can’t wait for camp to start in mid-November.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am for it. Once that day comes, I think it’s going to be a great feeling to finally get back on the ice and get back to Niagara and get my normal routine going and get the season started.”
Beraldo, who is taking a pair of on-line classes from Athabasca University, plans to billet again with Chris and Bryony Hawthorn. He moved in to their home last season after being acquired from Kingston.
“They’re amazing. I’m so excited to get back there too,” he said. “They treat us great and they’re great people. I loved it there ever since the first day I got there.”
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