Gold Miners acquire veteran forward Dupuis, ink QMJHL pick

The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners have acquired forward Jesse Dupuis, shown here battling with Timmins defender Kyle Trottier in front of Rock goalie Jacob Brown during a game at the McIntyre Arena on March 17, from the Blind River Beavers in exchange for a player development fee. The Iroquois Falls product spent three seasons with the West Division Beavers after graduating from the Timmins Majors program in the Great North Midget League (now Great North U18 League). THOMAS PERRY/POSTMEDIA NETWORK jpg, TD, apsmc

Forward Joniec shipped to the QJHL’s Gatineau Flames

Thomas Perry
Kirkland Lake Northern News/Postmedia Network

The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners have bolstered their offence with the addition of a pair of skilled forwards.

Iroquois Falls product Jesse Dupuis was acquired from the West Division’s Blind River Beavers, in exchange for a player development fee, while the Gold Miners have also signed Noah Woodard, a draft pick of the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders in 2021.

A right-hand shooting 2003-birth-year forward, Dupuis spent the past three seasons with the Beavers after graduating from the Timmins Majors’ program in the Great North Midget League (now the Great North U18 League).

During the 2022-23 campaign, Dupuis (56, 15-27-42, 42) was the Beavers seventh leading scorer.

In the playoffs, Dupuis (5, 1-2-3, 8) tied for fifth among Beavers skaters in point production.

Dupuis (11, 2-0-2, 4) broke into the NOJHL with Blind River during the 2020-21 season, and followed that up with a successful 2021-22 campaign (42, 14-15-29, 29).

At 5-9 and 145 pounds, Dupuis won’t be the biggest player on the Gold Miners roster, but he poses a combination of speed and skill that has made him effective in his first three seasons in the NOJHL.

In his final year of Junior ‘A’ hockey, the Gold Miners will be counting on Dupuis to provide leadership to their young core.

“You don’t get an opportunity to acquire a player like this every day, Jesse is a leader on and off the ice,” said Gold Miners General Manager Jamy Bernier.

“This is the big player the Gold Miners have been searching for all season.

“Dupuis’ presence on the ice will be felt by his adversaries both on the scoresheet and physically.

“He plays the exact brand of hockey the Gold Miners want to be playing.”

Meanwhile, Woodard, a 2005-birth-year, right-hand shooting 5-10 and 185-pound Cowansville, Que., product, spent the 2022-23 campaign with the QCHL’s Saint-Laurent Patriotes (regular season: 18, 3-2-5, 10; playoffs: 1, 0-0-0, 0) and the CAHS’ Ulysse Prep Varsity (14, 6-9-15, -).

“Noah adds pure offensive skill and championship experience to our roster,” said Gold Miners assistant general manager Alex Brisson.

Woodard was a U18AAA provincial champion in 2021 and he is expected to come into the Gold Miners lineup and help bolster the offensive production on a roster that, according to team officials, “is shaping up quite nicely.”

The Gold Miners have also dealt 2004-birth-year forward Nikolas Joniec to the QJHL’s Gatineau Flames, also for a player development fee.

Joniec (57, 4-7-11, 16), a left-hand shooting 6-0 and 174-pound Nepean product, spent just one season with the Gold Miners.

With the addition of Dupuis and the departure of Joniec, the Gold Miners roster, according to the NOJHL website, currently includes 14 players — forwards Jake King, Taye Ladislao, Ryan Greco, Dupuis, Woodard, Tyler Sweat, Luca Maiuri, Jonah McIndoo, Nolan Rosko-Fong and Benjamin Armatage; as well as blue-liners Aiden Beavan, Charlie Pacana and Cameron Allen; and goalies Braydon Garnhart and Connor Davis.