Stellarton native on pace to score 17 goals, 44 points
STELLARTON – Prior to going to the Quebec Remparts training camp in July, Brent Turnbull said he had high expectations he could reach his potential of being the player he wanted to be.
Stellarton’s Brent Turnbull is back with the Quebec Remparts this season as a 19-year-old. He is enjoying a successful season thus far with five goals and 13 points in 20 games.
Through 20 games this season in the QMJHL with the Remparts he’s only two points from his highest offensive output in three seasons in the major junior ranks. Turnbull had seven goals and 15 points with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in 2011-12. He already has five goals and 13 points in 20 games this season and is on pace for 17 goals and 44 points.
“I think confidence is really the biggest reason why I’m doing well so far this season,” said Turnbull. “The coaches have a lot of faith in me and our head coach Philippe Boucher is leaning on me a lot on the power play. Confidence is a big deal for a hockey player. You need that to perform well.”
Last season Patrick Roy was the bench boss for the Remparts, but after receiving an offer to coach the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche he left and was replaced with Boucher. Turnbull said that the biggest difference this season has been learning new systems under Boucher.
“I think at camp he just let us know that he believes we can be a contending team and we’re starting to prove that now after a slow start,” he said. “He has a lot of faith in our team and what we can do. As the season has gone along we’re getting used to his systems and showing they can work. It’s been a lot of fun and a good year so far.”
Although he has been seeing power play time, Turnbull plays most of his ice time with linemates Anthony Duclair and Kurt Etchegary. He said he’s enjoyed playing with the pair and that they have a lot of chemistry together.
“I’m one of the bigger guys on the team so my role is mostly to create space,” said Turnbull. “I have two really skilled linemates so making space for them allows them to do what they do best. I give them puck as much as possible and we’ve found ways to be successful. Good chemistry definitely helps.”
Their line is also getting plenty of ice time according to Turnbull, the most ice time he’s had since playing with the Weeks Major Midgets.
“I’m getting tons more ice time this year than last year,” he said. “I’m averaging about 23 minutes or more a game and had one where I played just over 29 minutes. The biggest adjustment for me personally this year was the ice time I’m getting. It was tough adjusting to playing a lot more minutes at first, but the summer training I did really helped me adjust to the time they were expecting me to play.”
Although he’s likely to pass his highest single season offensive output in his major junior career, Turnbull said he didn’t have a particular goal going into the season regarding points. He said he’s had a great start, but he can’t settle for where his game is now and needs to constantly work every day to get better.
Turnbull and the Remparts are on the road Wednesday night against Shawinigan.
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris