University of Maine men’s hockey coach Red Gendron continues to add size to his lineup for next season.
Six-foot-one, 178-pound left winger Cedric Lacroix, son of former National Hockey Leaguer and current New York Rangers assistant coach Danny Lacroix, has verbally committed to attend Maine in the fall.
Maine was the third-smallest team among the 59 in Division I this past season and it proved to be a detriment at times.
The 19-year-old Lacroix, a native of Shefford, Quebec, is currently playing for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League.
He had eight goals and 11 assists in 54 regular season games along with 141 penalty minutes.
“He is a worker,” said Sioux City coach Jay Varady. “He is an aggressive two-way player. He is a pressure-type player.
“He does a little bit of everything for us. He plays against the other team’s top forwards and he consistently leads us in hits and blocked shots,” said Varady.
Varady added that Lacroix has a wealth of intangibles including exceptional leadership skills and a great attitude.
“He’s one of my favorites,” said Varady.
Lacroix said there were several reasons for his decision to go to Maine.
“It is a very elite coaching staff with NHL experience,” said Lacroix, referring to Gendron and assistants Jay Leach and Ben Guite. “It’s only around five hours from my home so it’s convenient for me.
“And I had a good visit. I got a good vibe from the guys on the team,” said Lacroix, who said he will get a partial scholarship.
He also said he was told by several people that his style of play fits Gendron’s aggressive approach and high-tempo systems and that was a plus.
“My role will to be a physical presence,” said Lacroix. “I’m going to be pesky around the other team’s top players when I have to be. I’m going to be relentless and play with an edge in order to give my teammates more time and space. I just want to help the team out.
“I want to help us win games and win championships and I want to develop my game so I can eventually sign a pro contract,” he added.
He feels he has the necessary work ethic to be successful but he wants to gain some weight and strength and work on his skill development.
“It’s always important to keep working on my skills. They’ve done a real good job preparing me [for college] in the USHL,” said the 19-year-old Lacroix.
His father was a hard-nosed winger who spent most of his career in the AHL but did appear in 188 NHL games with 11 goals, 7 assists and 379 penalty minutes.
His coming to Maine is dependent upon his being accepted into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.