Conor Timmins. PHOTO BY: OHL IMAGES
It’s hard to envision how things could have gone any better for Conor Timmins at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
Not only did Timmins bring home a gold medal as part of Team Canada, but the 19-year-old Thorold native made a case as perhaps Canada’s best overall defenceman.
A couple of days after Canada’s exciting 3-1 win over Team Sweden in the final, Timmins reflected on the accomplishment of a lifetime.
“It was incredible. We put in a lot of hard work over the last month and to see it all come together was a great feeling,” he said. “It was really gratifying and to do it so close to home with so many family and friends there made it that much more special.”
Timmins, a second-round selection of the Colorado Avalanche in 2017 National Hockey League draft, finished the tournament with a goal and five points in seven games and was an impressive plus-15. He was a constant standout in his own end and set up Tyler Steenbergen for the game winner with 1:40 left in the gold medal game.
“I think I had a strong tournament. I think I played well within my role and to know that the whole country was watching and backing us was really cool,” he said.
Timmins said the entire experience from training camp in St. Catharines, to the outdoor game versus the United States, to the final game, was something he won’t soon forget.
“Obviously winning the gold stood out but the experience as a whole was incredible and is definitely something I’ll remember forever.”
Following the gold medal game, Timmins and the team were able to finally relax and enjoy the accomplishment.
“The team rented out a restaurant in Buffalo for us and we just celebrated as a team with family and friends,” he said.
Timmins, the son of former Thorold Blackhawks coach and owner Dan Timmins, will now turn his attention to his final season of junior with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, who appear poised to make a run at a Memorial Cup.
The Greyhounds Saturday made a huge trade with the Erie Otters, picking up forward Taylor Raddysh and defenceman Jordan Sambrook from the Erie Otters in exchange for centre Hayden Fowler and nine draft picks.
“We’re very excited to be able to add both Taylor and Jordan,” Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis said in a press release. “Both are elite players in this league that come with championship pedigrees that should be great fits to compliment our existing group.”
Both Raddysh, a 2016 second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lighting, and Sambrook, a 2016 fifth-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings, were members of the Otters last season when they won the J. Ross Robertson Cup after beating the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL Championship Series.
“It’s going to be an exciting second half in the Soo. I think there’s high expectations, not only from our fans but within the organization, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out,” Timmins said.