Parker powers Junior B Athletics
Jack Parker has been a bright spot in the early going for the St. Catharines WMKL Junior B Athletics.
The 17-year-old Niagara-on-the-Lake resident has six goals and 11 points in just two games as the A’s are off to a strong 3-1 start.
“He’s been a really big surprise for us on offence,” Athletics coach Alec Tamas said. “He’s been doing a lot of good things for us.”
Parker was on an intermediate card for the A’s last season but ended up playing 14 games and netting 21 points.
“The jump we’ve seen from last year to this year has been tremendous,” Tamas said. “He’s been picking up on all the coaching really well. I think that’s probably the reason he’s been standing out.”
Tamas said Parker is a natural on offence.
“He does a lot of little things well. He plays east-west, the way he times his picks, the way he’s able to find guys at the back, his shooting ability. He’s been doing a lot of good things for us on offence.”
Parker said getting his feet wet at the junior level last season made a huge difference.
“As a second-year player there is more experience,” the A.N. Myer student said. “You get to know the game better and what teams are about. There’s a few guys I played on the team with last year and the chemistry has grown over a few games.”
Parker fared well for a rookie, but admitted it’s a big jump from minor to junior.
“It’s definitely a lot different with the age gap and with COVID, I hadn’t played a lot before,” he said. “I never really played offence-defence and making that gap. It can be difficult at time but it’s not too hard to get used to.”
Parker has been particularly proficient with the man advantage, scoring four of his six goals on the power play.
“I like to think of myself as an offensive threat,” he said. “I’m not afraid to shoot the ball, especially on the power play. I’ll take that shot from the top but I also have two guys beside me — Jaden Patterson and Cody McNeil — who aren’t afraid to shoot as well.”
Parker puts a lot of thought into his craft.
“The goalies are good in this league so you definitely have to pick your corners,” he said. “You also have to change up your shot types. They’ll read you and know the shot you take 90 per cent of the time so maybe throw in a bounce or a low to high.”
Parker, who also plays travel hockey in Niagara Falls and is a member of Myer’s field lacrosse team, has high hopes for A’s this season.
“I think there’s a lot of depth on this team,” he said. “We have the potential to make it far and make a good playoff run.
“I really like it here. I like the guys and the coaching as well.”
St. Catharines visits the Point Edward Pacers on Friday night and the Cambridge Highlanders on Sunday before hosting the Wallaceburg Red Devils Friday, May 19 at Canada Games Park.
Tamas is pleased with the club’s start to the season.
“I think we’ve made a lot of improvements,” he said. “We started 2-0 on the first weekend. You can’t be upset going 2-0 but I thought there was still a lot we could work on and I think we started to iron out some kinks the second weekend.
“We’ve been making a lot of progress which is what we want to see this season.”
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