When Hugo Turcotte came to the Grande Prairie Storm at the start of last season expectation was he would add a lot of speed to the Alberta Junior Hockey League team’s line-up.
He did, and that skating ability helped make him the team’s top scorer. It has also helped earn him a scholarship at a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I school.
Turcotte, who turned 21 earlier this year, will suit up with the Niagara University Purple Eagles this fall. “Hugo was by far our most dynamic hockey player last season,” said Storm coach/general manager Blaine Bablitz, who watched Turcotte score 23 goals and add 33 assists in 58 games with the Storm. “He carried a huge offensive responsibility for our hockey team over the year.”
Turcotte, a native of Laval, QC, had played a year of Junior A with the Foxboro South Shore Kings of the Eastern Junior Hockey League in 2010-2011 – where he had 52 points in 45 games – and also played a year at Winchendon Prep in Massachusetts in 2009-2010. Previous to that he played Midget AAA in Quebec.
With the Storm the 5-foot-9, 175 pound Turcotte also led the team in game winning goals with four and along with teammate Tanner Labbe topped the Storm with nine powerplay tallies.
Turcotte, says Bablitz, was a willing listener and worked hard at his game at both ends of the ice.
“Whatever role we asked him to play he was open to it and succeeded with it,” said the Storm coach. “His progress and willingness to learn on the defensive side of the game was his greatest improvement on the season. It is only going to help him be the player he can be at the next level.”
Turcotte is the 27th Storm player to receive a scholarship at either an American or Canadian post-secondary institution in the last five years and the 13th to attend an NCAA school.
“Hugo in his time here was a great teammate and citizen within the community of Grande Prairie,” said Bablitz. “I and the Storm wish him and his family as the best as he makes the next step in his hockey career.”