With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, some aspects of hockey life have gone on, while others have stopped or been changed. For a young goaltender from Embrun, the situation over the past few months delayed his visit to his OHL draft club until this week.
The 15-year-old Jackson Parsons, who was picked in the 2020 OHL draft in the third round, 53rd overall, by the Kitchener Rangers. The top junior league in the province held its draft virtually this year, so this recent visit to the team’s home was Parsons’ first opportunity to see their facilities and meet in-person with staff.
Embrun resident, an OHL draft pick of the Kitchener Rangers, Jackson Parsons recently worked out virtually with Hockey Canada and has been invited to the organization’s national U17 development camp, set to begin July 19.
In May, he signed an OHL standard player agreement with the Rangers. Parsons was picked in the OHL Priority Selection draft 53rd overall.
The 15-year-old’s junior hockey career began last season, which was split between the U18 Cornwall Colts and the junior ‘B’ Char- Lan Rebels.
The Rangers recently highlighted Parson’s summer on their website, quoting the net minder’s thoughts on his Hockey Canada experience thus far: “All of the important information was made available to us, and it was really valuable. Parsons said. I just looked at the online format as a change. It didn’t necessarily lessen the experience at all.”
Kitchener head coach and general manager Mike McKenzie added, “Every little bit helps, especially with kids at this age, and they learn different things from a lot of people in the hockey world.”
Team staff will be connecting online with all Rangers players, including Parsons, with plans for weekly calls from the coach and “guest speakers.”
In a media release, the Rangers, who picked Parsons in the third-round pick (53rd overall) of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection, confirmed that the net minder has “signed his Ontario Hockey League standard player agreement.”
The team’s general manager, Mike McKenzie, stated, “Jackson is a quick and athletic goalie that had a very good [2019-20] season. He was a guy that was on our radar as one of the top goalies in the draft, and we were extremely excited to draft him and even more excited to see him sign with our team. We would like to welcome Jackson and his family to the Rangers.”
Parsons is 15 years old (he will turn 16 in November) and checks in at 5 ft. 11 in., 185 lb.
Last season, he played three games with the junior ‘B’ Rebels, recording a 2.79 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. With the U18 Colts, over 23 games, he had a 2.28 GAA and a .929 SVS%.
In the 2017-18 season, he was a member of the ‘AAA’ Eastern Ontario Wild minor bantams (1.96 GAA in 16 games), and during the 2018-19 campaign he was with the CIHA Voyageurs (3.76 GAA over 25 games).
The Char-Lan Rebels nabbed a home-ice victory last Saturday night, backstopped by affiliated goaltender Jackson Parsons, who made his CCHL2 debut in the November 16 contest that saw the Rebs prevail 3-1 over the Arnprior Packers.
Parsons, whose regular team is the U18 Cornwall Colts, made 23 saves. The Limoges native who checks in at 6 ft., 185 lb. will celebrate his 15th, yes 15th (!), birthday on November 23. With the U18 Colts, he has an 8-5 record, along with a 2.04 goals-against average and 0.935 save percentage.
As for the Char-Lan offence, Alexandre Elie had a goal and assist to lead the way.
Isaac Testani and Noah Konink were the other marksmen. Adding helpers were Owen Carter, Rylan Iwachniuk, Kale MacCormick, and Joseph Samson.
The win last week was sandwiched between two road losses, as Char-Lan dropped a 6-4 decision to Ottawa West and another, by the same score, to Athens on November 17.
The boys are scheduled to be back in action tonight, November 22 in Perth, and again Saturday, November 23 on home ice at the Char-Lan Rec. Centre in Williamstown, hosting the Athens Aeros at 8 p.m.
The Rebels enter play tonight with a record of 7 wins, 8 regulation losses, and 2 overtime/shootout losses.