Anyone who has seen Damien Giroux play hockey — or practise, for that matter — knows the Hanmer native makes the most of any opportunity.
It’s no surprise, then, that while the 20-year-old Minnesota Wild prospect has not seen game action in many months, he has been far from idle.
Since wrapping up a COVID-shortened OHL season with the Saginaw Spirit back in March, the hard-working forward has continued to skate and to train with many of Greater Sudbury’s best junior-age players, including younger brother Zacharie, through the fall and into winter, in anticipation of the start of his professional hockey career.
“The lockdown lately has made it a little tough, of course, but we have been fortunate to be able to go out and skate when we can,” Giroux told The Sudbury Star recently. “I have definitely been enjoying it.”
Having signed an entry-level contract back in March, the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder would have joined that team in late summer for rookie camp, then made an appearance at main camp before his likely assignment to the Iowa Wild, Minnesota’s top affiliate in the American Hockey League, to start 2020-21. The pandemic has played havoc with sports schedules, however, forcing NHL clubs to trim their camp rosters, and leaving prospects such as Giroux or former Wolves sniper Dmitry Sokolov on the outside looking in, at least for the time being.