Clippers add heavy shot

The Nanaimo Clippers are building their arsenal for 2010-11, and they’ve added an important weapon – a cannon from the point.

The Nanaimo Clippers are building their arsenal for 2010-11, and they’ve added an important weapon – a cannon from the point.

Blueline prospect Sam Labrecque committed to the team after a visit to the Harbour City over the long weekend.

Clippers coach and general manager Bill Bestwick said Labrecque possesses a shot from the point unlike any the team has had since former captain Matt Irwin graduated three years ago.

“[Labrecque] has a major-league shot, handles the puck like a pro, passes the puck strong and firm,” Bestwick said. “He’s very intelligent and poised on both sides of the puck.”

The 5-foot-8, 185 pounder from Granby, Que. played this past season at Stanstead College, a prep school in Quebec near the U.S. border.

There, he was an all-star in the Mid-West Prep Hockey League, scoring 10 goals and 21 points in 16 games including the post-season. He also impressed Clippers head scout Lou Gravel, who urged the prospect to consider the B.C. Hockey League.

Labrecque said he considers himself “mostly an offensive D but is able to do the job in the defensive end and be safe, too. Able to play on the two sides.”

The 18-year-old said he and his family were impressed by their visit to Nanaimo and the Clippers organization.

“All we’ve seen is excellent, A-1,” he said.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com