MARLBORO, MA - John DeRoche, foward on the 16U Junior Bruins, let the head coach at Quinnipiac University Rand Pecknold, know that he will a Bobcat accepting a full scholarship. The news comes just 6 weeks into the 2013-2014 campaign, which has seen DeRoche come out of the gates with a vengeance. In his first 26 games, DeRoche has a 20-23-43 scoring line which leads the team, and has led the 16U team to a 20-5-1 start. He also leads the USPHL-16U Division in scoring with a 15-11-26 line in 14 games. The 5’6, 1998 birth year from Lynnfield, MA has proven that size does not matter in today’s game.
Quinnipiac, who played in the national championship game a year ago and is currently ranked in the Top 15, has B’s alums Danny Federico, Matt Lemire, Zach Luczyk and KJ Tiefenwerth on the team this season. The Bobcats assistant coach, Bill Riga, is also former coach with the B’s.
“John’s work ethic and skating ability, combined with his vision and stick skills make for a lethal combination offensively.” 16U Head Coach, Topher Bevis, says. “He knows every time he is on the ice it is a chance to get better. Whether it’s in practice, game or stick time in the summer, Johnny is always going hard. It has been a pleasure to watch his development over the last two season and see how much his game has grown.”
DeRoche first came to the Junior Bruins when he was a mite playing on the Junior Bruins 1998 AAA tournament team. He spent parts of the next 5-6 years playing with the B’s in the spring and summer until last season. A year ago he joined the program on a full time basis on the teams inaugural 16U team. Though younger and smaller than most in the entire league, John was able to win the EJEPL scoring title and helped lead the Bruins to the playoffs. This year, still on the younger side of the 16U level, Deroche has taken his game to the next level.
“The puck always seems to find Johnny on the ice. No matter the competition, no matter the stakes, no matter who he is playing with, when he is on the ice he is making something happen” Says Bevis.
Deroche’s work ethic and consistency has helped him lead at all levels. This year, he will represent the 16’s as an assistant captain. However, even with the attention, Johnny has proven that he won’t change his ways. Bevis adds, “The one thing that people understand about Johnny is that he is going to work hard and be a humble soldier. Johnny leads by example.”
Whether it was a 7 year old in Toronto or a 10 year old in Montreal or now as a 15 year old with the 16′s, DeRoche is a difference maker in every game he plays. Typically, especially at a young age, you will not always see the elite players as the hardest workers. Not so with DeRoche, his engine never stops whether it is on the back check, hunting down an opponent and stripping him of the puck or when he is leading the rush he is his teams hardest worker.
DeRoche will look to continue his strong season as the Bruins head into the middle portion of the season in hopes to compete for a state title and a berth at nationals (November) and a USPHL championship (March).
“For as long as he has been with the program, Johnny has been a player that epitomizes what the Junior Bruins are about,” coach Chris Masters commented. “He puts the team first, works hard and just shows up each practice and game ready to work. He expects nothing to be given to him and for a player as talented as he is, he never looks to take credit for his or his teams’ success. His brother George (a key player on the B’s 2000 team) is the same way…shows up, works hard and has a smile on his face.”
Congratulations to John and the DeRoche family.
DeRoche (2nd from right kneeling) with his 1998 Junior Bruins team celebrating the Montreal Meltdown championship in 2007