Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jr. Blades Graduate Trio to Kingston‏

Press Release

Estero, Fla.-- The Kingston Voyageurs have signed a trio of talent from the Florida Jr. Blades of the Empire Junior Hockey League. The American journeymen, Ross Kovacs, Blake O’Neill and J.P. Larmoyeux, will travel to Canada to showcase their skills.

The 2011-2012 record-setting Florida Jr. Blades has three graduates heading to Kingston for the up coming season. “We push players to their limits and then some with intense on and off ice workouts,” said Jr. Blades head coach and general manager Tad O’Had. “I know they’re ready for the next level because in Florida the rigors and training these guys go through will break them if they aren’t true hockey players.”

Former Jr. Blades J.P. Larmoyeux, Blake O’Neill and Ross Kovacs will be heading to Canada to join the Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). The OJHL represents one of the finest Tier II Jr. A programs in North America and is a suitable place for the talented Jr. Blades graduates.

Kovacs, a 6-foot-3 defender from Dickinson, North Dakota anchored the Jr. Blades blue line and is known for his composure on and off the ice. An Empire League All-Star and NAHL draftee he joins Jr. Blades teammate Blake O’Neill in defending the Voyageurs defensive end. “The OJHL is a high level league that has had a lot of success placing its players to the next level,” said Kovacs. “Kingston is a rich hockey town with a tradition of winning I am really looking forward to stepping on the ice and showcasing my abilities.”

Fellow teammate Blake O’Neill is a talented ‘94 defender with a large offensive upside. “I like to be responsible for the puck, but when I see an opportunity I take it,” said O’Neill. “Sometimes you get an opportunity with a bad change or someone gets a little lazy. That’s when I’m dangerous.” Opportunities presented themselves for O’Neill who recorded 12 goals and 20 assists in 39 games for the Jr. Blades.

When looking for offensive output the Voyageurs didn’t have far to go. J.P. Larmoyeux played along side both Kovacs and O’Neill for the 2011-12 season. Larmoyeux recorded 79 points (31g, 48a) in 40 games for the Jr. Blades during their campaign. Known as a talented playmaker the 6-foot-1 forward from West Palm, Fla. is fully prepared for the season ahead. "I am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve up north,” said Larmoyeux. “Kingston is such a great hockey town and I am looking forward to playing against tougher competition. It's gonna be a blast facing off against the Cougars I have been spending the past two years trying to score on Keyser in practice and it will be nice to do it in front of the home crowd."

The winning attitude, training and quality of development appealed to coaches in Kingston. "I am really impressed with the Florida Jr. Blades program. In terms of structure, dedication and development it's as good as any development program I have seen on either side of the border,” said Colin Birkas, head coach of the Kingston Voyageurs. “The players have access to a great facility, staff and instruction. It is clear that coach O'Had's players graduate ready for the next level, whether it be Juniors or College.”

(Nathan can be reached at

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