The Only Rebound Joseph Raaymakers Wants To Allow: His Own

Joseph Raaymakers London Knights

Joseph Raaymakers makes a stop for the OHL’s London Knights – Photo by Terry Wilson/ OHL Images

When the 2017-2018 OHL season started, Joseph Raaymakers was at home. He had told his team, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, he wouldn’t be reporting to training camp, and he wanted a trade.

That trade took a month. For Joseph Raaymakers however, it was a fresh start with the London Knights, a storied franchise, and a chance to rebound his career.

Since then, he’s been almost unstoppable, and every puck he’s faced, has seemed stoppable. Although he’s helped the Knights become a winning team again this season, Raaymakers is taking things one day, and one game at a time.

“I’ve been focusing on just taking things day-by-day and one game at a time,” said the goaltender, who has been among league leaders in goals against average, and save percentage in the OHL all season. “Keeping things simple in my game and just going out and playing while having fun. I’m not trying to worry about outcomes, I just want to go out and give my team a chance to win every night.”

Raaymakers has been doing just that. Since his return to the league, he’s been winning at close to a .650 rate, even after the London Knights starting selling off players as part of a rebuild.

For the former Chatham-Kent Cyclones star, he’s relished the opportunity to play for the Knights.

“The Knights organization is incredible. All the staff and hockey operations are first class and treat all of us like professionals,” Raaymakers explained. “I can’t say enough good things about the way I’ve been treated here in London. It;s an honour playing for such a storied franchise, kind of a dream come true.”

The move to London also afforded something Raaymakers hasn’t had in his OHL career, the chance to be a bonafide and trusted starter. In Sault Ste. Marie, he was buried behind a pair of high NHL draft picks, despite often outplaying them. Despite being dubbed the starter, Raaymakers will never be satisfied. He still has much to prove to the hockey world.

“In my mind I can never be satisfied as being “the guy.” My approach as far as rest and managing practice time is different (as the starter). However, my mindset cannot change. Go in everyday, be the hardest working guy and be a good teammate and leader.”

With one year of OHL eligibility remaining, Raaymakers is now a veteran. Despite being one of the older players on the team, the Chatham product is also doing something he hasn’t done in a while, having fun.

“I just want to continue to help my team and be a good leader for the young guys in the room. We have a great team here and it’s a lot of fun coming into the rink everyday and seeing the boys.”

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