Ridley centre commits to Smith Falls
Shaymus Stevenson has taken a major step towards his dream of playing NCAA Division 1 hockey.
The 18-year-old centre for the Ridley College Tigers has committed to the Smith Falls Bears of the Canadian Central Hockey League for the 2021/22 season.
“Smith Falls presented a great opportunity for me for the upcoming season,” Stevenson said. “The staff and facility are among the best is the league.
“I’m really excited to develop and help the program as well.”
Stevenson, a native of Dryden who played for the Thunder Bay Kings before suiting up for the Tigers, gives Ridley a huge portion of credit for his development, on and off the ice.
“Ridley has helped me mature and find a new compete level,” Stevenson said. “On the ice, the staff has helped me make huge strides, especially in offensive aspects. Coach (Mike) McCourt has helped me fine tune many little skills in my game and create an identity for myself.
“I’m very thankful for the effort and time he invested in me as a player.”
McCourt has been impressed with Stevenson’s development.
“Shaymus has grown immensely on and off the ice over his time here at Ridley,” McCourt said. “He emerged as one of our leaders and was a respected member of our team amongst his peers. Shaymus is a dedicated student/athlete who focused on developing his game and consistently looked to address areas of growth.”
Stevenson is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound centre, who McCourt feels will excel at the next level.
“Shaymus is a difficult player to play against. He can utilize his size to be very effective and has really rounded out his game,” McCourt said. “Shaymus is well prepared to jump into junior hockey and we want to wish him all the best with the next step in his journey.”
Stevenson feels his game continues to evolve.
“I play with an edge and try to add something new to my game every week,” he said. “I’m a big forward who uses vision, speed and strength to make plays in all three zones. I need to keep getting stronger and work on transitioning quicker to adapt to the junior level.”
Stevenson missed the daily competition of the hockey season due to the COVID pandemic.
“I’ve been doing my best to stay motivated and active. I spend most of my time watching games, working out, and making sure I finish school strong.”
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