KENSINGTON – It’s not uncommon for players moving up a level in any sport to face adjustments.
Zach Biggar of Portage, near Tyne Valley, is no different, but the rookie defenceman is settling in nicely with the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild of the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League.
“I think I’ve adjusted pretty well,” said Biggar. “There are definitely some things I can work on, but that will come.”
Biggar, who played the previous two seasons with the O’Leary-based Prince County Warriors and was named the 2017-18 P.E.I. Major Bantam AAA Hockey League’s top defenceman, went into Friday’s road game against the Saint John Vitos fourth in team scoring on the strength of two goals and six assists for eight points in seven regular-season games.
“Zach has been put in a big role,” said Wild head coach Kyle Dunn. “He plays on our power play, our penalty kill and we have high hopes for Zach Biggar this year.
“I like the way he plays. He’s a new two-way defencemen, he can jump up on the play and he plays very strong in his own end.”
Dunn noted a big part of Biggar’s game is his composure.
“He’s not putting himself in positions where he’s finding himself running around in a game,” explained Dunn. “He’s adjusted well and is making the right adjustments, and like any first-year player there are going to be some growing pains. . .
“We are all human and one thing we want to do with young players is if you make a mistake you go right back out there and keep on going.”
Kensington, which took a 5-2-1 (won-lost-overtime losses) into Friday’s game, returns to Credit Union Centre to face the Fredericton Caps (3-4-2) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
“We’ve had a pretty good start,” reflected Biggar. “We are a good, fast team, and it’s fun to play with the Wild. I love it here in Kensington, the fans are great.”
One veteran who has had a big impact on Biggar during his first two months with the Wild is third-year defencemen and team captain Ethan Beaulieu of Borden-Carleton.
“I talk to Ethan a lot,” said Biggar, 15. “I sit next to him in the dressing room, and I ask him a lot of questions. He’s a great mentor for me, and is a great captain.”
Along with the speed and strength of the players, Biggar noted there has been one other big adjustment at the major midget level, but he’s not complaining.
“It’s more of a time commitment, too, coming down to Kensington three, four times a week sometimes,” added the Grade 10 student at Westisle Composite High School. “The road trips are fun with the boys, being in the room with everyone and the coaches are great. I love it.”
Like a lot of players his age, Biggar has his eye on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“I’d like to get drafted and play in the Q next year, or the year after,” said Biggar. “Playing in the Q sometime has been one of my dreams for a long time.”