The Next Step

It’s one of hockey’s greatest clichés. It’s become so commonplace that it’s often ignored, but highly valued to the players that use it:

“One step at a time.”

Stellarton, Nova Scotia’s Lucas Canning lives by it and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Canning’s path to the QMJHL has been extremely linear to say the least.

At every step of the way Lucas Canning has excelled at the game.

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The highly skilled elite level scoring forward is eager to take the next step and prove he can be a key contributor in the QMJHL.

“I think as the season went on it’s started to get more nerve-wracking,” Canning said of his draft year and the pressure surrounding it.

You wouldn’t know it by the outstanding numbers Canning put up with the Weeks Major Midgets.

In 34 games, Canning lite the lamp 30 times while adding 8 helpers.

Numbers are one thing, but Canning was committed to become a complete 200ft player.

“I’ve been working on my defensive zone play throughout the entire season.”

Young draft eligible players who understand the rigours of the next level and prepare for that before making the jump usually adapt a lot quicker.

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For young talented players it’s all about playing to their identity, understanding their place in the game at the next level.

Lucas Canning understands that better than most.

“I think the biggest aspect I’ve been working on is my footwork, my speed and my acceleration,” confessed Canning.

“If I do ever cracked a Major Junior lineup I think the biggest aspect I’ll have to work on is focussing more on the defensive zone more than the offence of zone.”

You see scoring goals are one thing at the Midget level, but scoring goals in the QMJHL usually takes on an entirely different complexion.

Canning has scored at every level, but he understands he will have to be at his best to excel in the Q.

What would it mean to be drafted and where does he see himself fitting into a lineup?

“I think I can fit in at the major junior level pretty well,” Canning said confidently.

“I think I’ve been maturing and getting myself ready for this big step.”

“In my perspective getting drafted into the QMJHL would be a huge accomplishment.”

“It’s something that I’ve worked hard on throughout my whole life to accomplish.”

“It’s just a bigger step towards what I am trying to lead up to,” Canning said.

The dream to play at hockey’s highest level is often shared amongst many young players.

That dream started early on for Canning, a matter of fact it was as soon as he laced them up.

That dream has fuelled Canning’s ascension in the game, a game which he fall in love almost instantly.

If you have ever had the pleasure to watch Lucas Canning play the game it’s easy to tell how much he loves it.

Quite frankly you can’t teach what Lucas Canning can do. He’s a natural when it comes to scoring goals.

Nevertheless, he isn’t relying solely on that skill to lift him to new heights. For Canning it’s all about hard work, dedication and taking one step at a time.

“The earliest memory I have of playing the game is winning day of champions in Atom,” said Canning.

“To have a chance to play in Major Junior is an outstanding opportunity.”

“To think that one day there is a chance I could be playing pro is just an unbelievable thought,” admitted Canning.

Canning is quick to credit two brother’s from his hometown for providing inspiration and extra motivation to accomplish his dream of playing in the QMJHL.

“All through my childhood I really looked up to Kevin and Jaden Mason.”

“They were the ones that really showed all the little kids in our hometown that anything can happen.”

“Kevin was drafted by Saint John and Jaden was drafted by Moncton.”

“That really showed me that if they can do it, I can to.”

The opportunity to accomplish his lifelong dream is within reach.

Canning understands he could have never arrived at this point of his career without the unwavering support of his family.

“My parents are the biggest supporters I think any player could ever ask for,” said Canning proudly.

“My uncles and aunts and everyone that’s been to my games all through my minor hockey has really made a huge impact in my hockey career.”

“My mom and dad have put so much time and effort into making me the player and person I am today.”

“Both sides of my family that really showed me the type of player and person that I can be.”

“They have helped me through the bad and the good and I hope they are going to continue to support me.”

Canning is currently ranked 18th overall on the QMJHL CSR’s Final Draft list.

“Lucas is a pure goal scoring winger with a pro release,” said one QMJHL scout.

“Lucas led the league in goals with 30 as a rookie and possesses high end skill to pair with his solid skating ability.”

“Lucas is very dangerous off the rush, and is at his best when finding open ice to unleash his deadly shot.”

“He will be a premier goal scorer in the QMJHL,” the scout said.

There’s no question the sky is the limit for Lucas Canning.

Canning is eager to get things going next season, but has trusted process throughout his path in the game.

Canning is a little disappointed in the fact that his family and all of his supporters aren’t going to be able share the QMJHL draft experience together.

“I think one thing I change my draft year would have to be the opportunity to go to the live draft.”

“I think that what’s happening right now in the world is out of control,” Canning said.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me how it all happened, but there’s nothing we can do and we have to live with it.”

For now it’s one step at a time for Lucas Canning. Nevertheless, the highly skilled natural goal scorer is as motivated as ever to take the next step, a step that he’s been dreaming about his entire life.

One comment

  1. Dear Craig,
    Thank you very much for this great article and really all of your articles! I share these with my family and friends. Keep up the fantastic work of telling the real hockey stories.


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