BY: Bruce Berlet
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault might be the smallest player in Connecticut Whale training camp, but he certainly has made some big-time plays and impressions the past few weeks.
It started when Dean Stork, coach of the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors, recommended Audy-Marchessault to the New York Rangers after the speedy forward had a standout season with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League that was coached by Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy and included speedy, gritty left wing Ryan Bourque, son of Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque and a top Rangers prospect.
“I knew Roy and talked to Audy-Marchessault’s mother,” Stork said Monday as he began a three-day stint watching the Connecticut Whale practice and scrimmage at Champions Skating Center. “I was hoping to sign him for my team.”
Well, barring something unforeseen, Stork can forget that idea. After the 5-foot-8, 175-pounder from Cap-Rouge, Quebec, showed well in the Rangers’ prospects camp after the NHL draft in late June, he was invited to participate in the prospects tournament two weeks ago in Traverse City, Mich. After starting on the fourth line, Audy-Marchessault advanced to one of the top lines and played on the power play and killed penalties. In four games, he tied for second in team scoring with two goals and two assists as most of the Rangers’ top young players finished runner-up in the tournament to the more experience Buffalo Sabres.