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Thursday, Jun. 21, 2018
Local defenceman lands on his feet in Gatineau
by Randy Pascal

The 17 year old OHL (Ontario Hockey League) draft that was instituted this past April came one year too late for local defenceman Ryan O'Bonsawin. Then again, maybe not.

"Not being drafted sort of helped me out in a way," explained the smooth-skating blueliner, now back in Sudbury after suiting up in 35 games (one goal, five assists) with the Gatineau Olympiques last year.

"I was able to go to OHL camps as well as QJMHL camps, and now I'm on a major junior team, so it's worked out." After not being selected in his minor midget campaign, O'Bonsawin returned for one season with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves, racking up 31 points in 34 games en route to being selected as Top Defenceman in the Great North Midget League.

That extra year of minor hockey seasoning served him well once he made the jump in Gatineau last September. "I was able to keep up with the boys, I wasn't outmatched," he said. "I played my game and it went well. It's a very high paced game, so quick puck movement is key."

No surprise to those who know his game that the majority of his focus with the Olympiques occured at the opposite end of the rink. "You always have to work on defence," he said. "We worked on it, it's gotten better, so I feel like I'm more of a two-way player now."

"There's guys that are 6'5" out there, so you have to work twice as hard to keep them in the corner, because they have the size." Where O'Bonsawin would enter the summer of 2016 not knowing where he would be lacing up the skates in the fall, his priority this summer will rest solely with the team that is expecting to welcome him back.

"We started out OK, then picked it up, then they made a coaching change," he noted of the 2016-2017 season in Gatineau. "We had a ten game winning streak and ended up losing in game seven of the first round of the playoffs."

"We have a good group coming back and a lot of good draft picks coming in." And if all goes well, the local lad will hope to catch the eyes of the scouts this year, even if they missed him two seasons ago.

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