When you think of Canadian hockey, think of Stefan LeBlanc. An American Hockey League (AHL) regular that has a spot on the Florida Everblades 2020-21 roster and an emerging talent. Standing at 6-foot, number 23 is a player to focus on as soon as he steps on the ice.
LeBlanc does not just know how to handle the puck; he is smart with it. As he comes into every shift, his attention is sharp. One might assume watching him that he is a true natural. However, LeBlanc argues it lies more within preparation, confidence, and a high level of effort. He says it is not complex to him, “just be consistent night in and night out and points will come from that.”
It is fair to classify LeBlanc as a two-way player. Despite typically falling under a defensive label, he notches an impressive number of goals and assists with limited penalty minutes indicating both his strengths and priorities when he is near the puck.
In the AHL, LeBlanc showed up in 130 games creating four goals and 25 assists overall and spent only 50 minutes in the penalty box. The ECHL is not far behind with his time spent in 35 games played featuring three goals and 14 assists keeping a mere 31 minutes in penalty (nine of the games were played with the Blades including two of the 14 assists and 15 of the 31 minutes in penalty).
If it was not evident by his intricate skating ability or tight hold on what is happening all around him, LeBlanc states that he is an “all around puck moving defenseman” who prides himself on being a “good defender and good on the offensive side of the puck”. This mindset shows up each time he plays because he is a consistent source of reliability and play maker.
So, what is next for someone who always seems to connect to the right people at the right time when a chance to score is on the line? LeBlanc is thinking bigger. The only thing he wants from this season on a personal and professional level is the Kelly Cup. My guess is it will not be long for LeBlanc to accomplish.