Lucas Vanroboys Up To The BCHL’s Challenges
A Chatham-Kent Cyclones alumni, Vanroboys left minor hockey early, and bypassed his first years of Junior eligibility to play at South Kent Prep School in Connecticut.
Now, Vanroboys is competing in his first Junior season, playing in Canada’s top Junior A league, the British Columbia Hockey League with the Nanaimo Clippers. Although he’s starting to show the talent that brought him to the league, the transition hasn’t been without bumps.
“The transition to the BCHL was definitely a challenging one,” said Vanroboys. “A couple things stick out to me in particular and they are the speed, size, and ability for everyone to think the game. Everyone in this league can play no matter what line you may be on or your role on teams. Another tough transition is the schedule and how busy it is with the long days and nights traveling to games, daily practices, and weekly community events.”
For Vanroboys, who had been watched over while in high school, the busy life of the BCHL, and competition level of a league which had three NHL first round draft picks taken in the 2016 draft, has been a challenge, and caused him to refocus his efforts on the little things.
“(It) made me realize how important the little things are, like eating and sleeping right, and how much of a difference they can make.”
Not only is Vanroboys focusing on the finer points off the ice, he’s concentrating on putting in a full effort in all areas on the ice to continue to grow, and impress his coaches in Nanaimo. He hopes this work ethic will help his team travel deep into the postseason.
“My goals heading into the end of the season and playoffs is to continue playing a strong 200-foot game to help our team finish as high as we can in the standings to get he best possible match up for the playoffs, and to make a run a the Fred Page Cup.”
While his immediate goals include improving and a long playoff run, Vanroboys, who was a draft pick of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs in 2015, still has his sights set on advancing to the college level, which he hopes another season of growth at the Junior A level will help him achieve.
“Looking ahead into the future, I see myself hopefully coming back for another year full to get more and more opportunities to move on to the next level. Seeing the Junior A level of hockey and talking to some of the next level programs, I know more development both physically and mentally is needed and another year in the league will definitely help me with that.”