Mathieu played for the USPHL Somang U 20 team last season. In 40 GP he scored 9 goals and notched 22 assists for 31 points. The Eels are very excited about Mathieu joining our squad. The Eels had over 32 imports last season with over 10 players from Canada. Our scouts and coaches spend a good amount of time scouting in both the French and English-speaking Canadian providences over the years. Players know we advance players to college – 252 to be exact- and that is why players like Mathieu gravitate to the Eels. Moreover, we have enjoyed a very good relationship with many of the Tier II Canadian programs having alumni who advanced to the BCHL. Maritime League, the LHJQ Montreal Rangers to name a few and with the Canadian Major Juniors QMJHL Moncton.
Canadian players love the fact that they train on the ice 5 days per week They are in the gym 5 days per week. Additionally, they can capture double ice sessions 3+ times per week. They shoot an extra 100 pucks per day. This equates to about 700 hours of training per year. These guys share the hunger and dedication that Eels have as their hallmark. It is all about individual player development. And these guys love our winning tradition and consistency. Both Eels teams finished First in tough Florida Division. The Eels have consistently advanced one or both teams to Nationals over the last decade. That spells success. And that is winning formula players like Rioux seek.
Rioux comes highly recommended from his Somang coach and GM. He is a strong skater with solid skill set. He fits into the Eels style of play. Great work ethic. Relentless in his forecheck. Very aggressive. Creates loose puck turnovers. Has a keen eye for the net with an insatiable appetite to score but maintains defensive responsibility. He is keenly aware you win games defensively and that is why he backchecks with equal determination and tenacity. Equally important the Eels are getting a first-class individual. One who has impeccable character.
We are very excited about him joining us this season and becoming an integral part of the Eels. We expect him to be an impact player.