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Trenton Golden Hawks acquire a new defenceman

By Buckley Smith [1]

BELLEVILLE – The Trenton Golden Hawks [2] acquired a new player this past week, defenceman Calvin Walker [3] from the Coquitlam Express [4] of the British Columbia Hockey League [5].

Walker appeared in 21 games for Coquitlam this year, picking up four points in those contests.

The native of Welland, Ont., told QNet News Wednesday that while he was sad to be leaving Coquitlam, coming to a winning team like Trenton helped him get excited about the change.

“When I first heard that I was traded I had some mixed feelings. Although I had only been on the Coquitlam team for a few months, I had made some good friends and had a lot of fun,” said Walker. “But when it came down to it I knew that I had a better chance of developing as a hockey player in Trenton. So I was looking forward to the change. Basically all I knew was that Trenton was consistently at the top of the standings” in the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Golden Hawks head coach and general manager Jerome Dupont said the team had been looking at Walker for a while but the pickup became necessary when one of the Golden Hawks’ defencemen, Josh Allen, was sidelined indefinitely following back surgery.

“We had our eye on him for a while, from about a month into the season,” said Dupont. “He’s a solid stay-at-home defenceman with good mobility. He’s got good hockey IQ, he’s aggressive, he’s physical, he’s a committed athlete. So he’s got lots of attributes we like.”

Dupont said he is excited about the talents Walker brings to the team, but it was more of a case of building on strengths the team already has, rather than acquiring a piece they were missing.

“We have a lot of what he brings,” said Dupont. “But we wanted more.”

While Walker does not bring much new to the table for Trenton, that is not to say he will not fill a vital role.

“As a defensive D-man we see him penalty killing and playing five-on-five,” said Dupont. “And looking to get certain matchups against other teams’ good offensive players.”

Walker said he agrees that that’s the role he’s best suited for, but that he also hopes to step up as a leader on the team.

“What I would like to bring to the team is leadership and physicality on the ice. As a 19-year-old I am now one of the older guys in the room.

“I’m not the most talkative, but I feel that I can lead by example and bring even more energy to the team by the way I like to play.”

Since joining the team, Walker played in Monday’s game against the Cobourg Cougars [6], which the Golden Hawks won 3-2.

Despite the small amount of time Walker has spent with the team, Dupont says he is already fitting in quite well.

“So far so good. He’s a good friend of Mac Lewis (a second-year forward on the Golden Hawks). They played at St. Andrew’s College [7] together,” said Dupont. “So yeah. He’s a good fit.”

Walker also says he thinks he has fit in quite well in the short time he has been here, saying the transition has been easier than expected for him.

“Going to a new team can be a little nerve-racking at the beginning, but with an old friend (Lewis) as well as the rest of the team, it’s made the transition pretty easy,” he said. ” The team has been great and so has my new billet family – once again just making this transition all the more exciting.”

Walker now also has the benefit of playing closer to his Welland home. And while he says he is looking forward to that, there are mixed feelings when it comes to the move.

“Of course it’s great to have to the option to go home to visit my family. But it’s almost surreal to think that hockey has brought me so far away from home, to places like British Columbia.

“The connections that I’ve made and the places that I’ve been are things that I value a lot. But at the end of the day, it comes down to the place where I can excel and play my best hockey. And I think it will show that it’s here in Trenton with the Golden Hawks.”