Simply put, Cole DeKoninck has become a player for the Dauphin Kings that has been heavily relied upon on the back end, but he's also a player that has received the green light offensively.
The 18-year-old is 29 games into his first full season as a junior hockey player and it's been a good one so far. He also made a bang on his new team by recording his first ever point with the Kings way back in October against Waywayseecappo. That was an assist and since that, Cole has tallied five goals.
"Things are going great, I mean we've been struggling to get the wins lately but we've been working really hard to change that," said DeKoninck. "I think things are going to turn around and we're going to start winning games."
"We really need to start capitalizing on our chances, like we're close every game for the most part," he added. "We're not giving up a lot of goals, but we're not scoring that many either. Scoring five goals on Wednesday against OCN was big for us and I think that's going to help with the confidence."
Cole's also tacked on 13 assists so far, one of which was on Tuesday against OCN. The 18 points Cole has is tied for sixth on the team.
"I wasn't really expecting much coming in as a rookie," added DeKoninck. "I was hoping to get a couple, my main goal is to just help this team. I just want us to be successful going forward."
DeKoninck's success has earned him a trip to Regina to take part in the MJHL/SJHL Showcase at the Co-operators Centre which takes place January 14-15 (Monday/Tuesday). He will play on Team Garbutt and he'll be joined by teammate Grady Hobbs.
"It's a pretty great feeling to know I'm one of the top 18-year-olds in the league, it means a lot," he added. "I wasn't expecting it, but I'm pretty pumped up for it."
"Playing in front of all the scouts will definitely add some pressure and the nerves will be there, I just need to go out there and play my game and if I do that, I'll be just fine," added Dekoninck.
Cole is now tasked with playing with players he's usually against. With the exception of Hobbs, every other single member of the Garbutt squad is from another team and usually is Cole's enemy out on the ice. The versatile defender doesn't see that being a problem.
"I don't think it's going to be tough, I know a couple of the guys from previous years so It shouldn't be that hard to gain chemistry," said DeKoninck.
Cole and the Kings return to Credit Union Place tomorrow night as they get set for a tough test. Dauphin welcomes the Portage Terriers to town. Last time the Terriers beat Dauphin, 4-3 at the MJHL Showcase. Dauphin lost 8-2 to Portage in the team's last meeting at Credit Union Place.
"After that win against OCN, the boys are really fired up," said DeKoninck. "We're ready for what's going to be thrown at us. It's time for us to get some wins and that's what we're ready to make happen."
Tomorrow's game is set for 7:30.