Jackson Jacques of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation racked up points in his abbreviated junior hockey rookie season, but it was his attitude that impressed his coach the most.
“He never quits on a play,” Dryden Ice Dogs head coach Kurt Walsten said. “He’s like a pit bull out there. Works hard … (When players make mistakes), a lot of guys put their head down, bad body language, or quit on the play. If JJ makes a mistake, he will work that much harder to get it back.”
The son of Jennifer Bone and Albert Jacques led all Superior International Junior Hockey League defencemen in scoring. Before the SIJHL paused in 2020 prior to cancelling its season last week,the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder recorded five points, including one goals, in four games. Jacques saw time on the powerplay and killed penalties.
“He earned that (ice time) because of his work ethic,” Walsten said. “He was the hardest working defenceman we had this year. When you work hard, good things are going to happen.”
The head coach also stated that, Jacques “has a future in hockey because he woks hard. He’s not afraid. He can skate. He battles. He doesn’t like losing.”
What Jacques did like was Dryden. He helped the Ice Dogs tie for the league’s best record at 3-1-0-0.
“I’ve enjoyed everything about Dryden,” Jacques said. “Great place, good people. Overall, just a fun experience.”
Dryden was the latest stop on Jacques’ hockey journey. In 2018-2019, he played for the Coldwater (Ont.) Ice Wolves of the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League. Last season Jacques returned home to Manitoba. He was the third leading scorer for the Brandon Wheat Kings U17 AAA squad but also played five games with the Brandon Wheat Kings U18 AAA team and one for the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
“I always want to do the best I can and be playing at the highest level for me possible and developing my game so I could move onto the next level,” Jacques said.
His parents have strongly supported his hockey career.
“They have played a huge role in my hockey career,” Jacques said. “It’s been non-stop support from them whether it’s from home or cheering me on at the rink. They’ve done so much for me and I’m very thankful for them.”