Preston Lounsbury is the type of player you build around.
The fifteen-year-old gritty skilled forward plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played.
The Salisbury, New Brunswick product isn’t the flashiest player, but what he does on the ice truly jumps off the page.
You see Lounsbury is a throw back player. He’s an honest two-way skilled forward that takes pride in playing both sides of puck.
The Moncton Flyers rookie has had a tremendous start to the season and his really starting to find his way playing through the middle with veterans Tristan Sanchez and Braeden MacPhee.
“It has been a different year from others due to the pandemic, but I’m trying to keep my main focus on making a good impression with my coaches and earning their trust and not worry about the draft,” Lounsbury said.
“I feel like if I do the little things and work hard to improve everyday the draft will take care of itself.”
“The draft is always in the back of my mind and I wonder sometimes where I could end up playing one day,” said Lounsbury.
Lounsbury is a strong powerful skater who possesses solid puck skills and great vision.
The play making forward has a great release and will need to use that aspect of his game more moving forward to keep opponents guessing and honest.
Lounsbury also brings a physical presence to the game that most honest skilled players possess.
He doesn’t throw the big hit to that take himself out of the play or cost his team by taking selfish penalties,
he understands all of the subtle nuances of the game like body position, stick positioning and defensive side of the puck.
Those attributes will translate extremely well to the next level.
Lounsbury was inspired by the best Maritimers ever to lace them up.
“As a kid I liked Sidney Crosby because he was from Nova Scotia and one of the best players in the world.”
“Over the last couple years, I have really looked up to Braeden MacPhee. Since first year Bantam we have had similar paths and challenges. He always works hard and has the right attitude when things don’t go his way.”
“Luckily this year I have had the opportunity to play and learn from him which is cool.”
“Braeden is a big part of our team,” Lounsbury said.
Where does Lounsbury see himself fitting in at the next level?
“I hope one day to play for a QMJHL team and be a player that can be put in any situation by coaches.”
“My long-term goal would be to find a spot as a Top 6 forward.”
It remains to be seen where the team that draft him will chose to play the 5’10 150 pound forward.
Obviously, there’s still room for improvement and he will have to continue to get bigger and stronger, but Lounsbury has all the makings of a very solid Major Junior player.
“It would be very special,” Lounsbury said when asked about being drafted in the QMJHL.
“Playing in the Q has always been a goal of mine.”
“Coming from a small town where not many players have had opportunity to play at the level would make even more special,” Lounsbury said proudly.
The mature well spoken kid from Salisbury understands the process and the has never lost sight of the value of hard work.
“Off the ice I’ve been working hard at the gym to get stronger and faster.”
“On the ice I am trying to be more patient when I have the puck on my stick and not rush plays to create more space. We have been very fortunate to be able to practice and get some games in during these times and the coaches are pushing us to get better.”
Hockey dreams are shared and so are all the sacrifices along the way.
Lounsbury is quick to credit his parents Cathy and Corey for getting him to this point of his career.
“There is to many times to even count,” Lounsbury said of all the sacrifices his parents have made.
“There is no possible way I could be the person and player I am today without them.”
“They have had to put in as many hours of driving and support as I have played the game.”
“When I was younger my dad built a rink for me in the backyard to work on getting better. My Mom has always been my number one fan cheering me on through every single game and always being positive even when I didn’t think I had the best of game.”
Lounsbury can play all three forward positions with relative ease.
One QMJHL scout last week mentioned that he sees Lounsbury playing through the middle at the next level because he’s more effective handling the puck and moving it from the middle.
You see Preston Lounsbury’s versatility, skating ability and hockey sense is what definitely sets him apart from other players his age.
Often times two-way players aren’t as flashy as other players or garner all the attention from scouts.
Often times they don’t get drafted as high as they probably should.
That doesn’t mean scouts or organizations don’t value or appreciate them.
You see the organizations that do often are the franchises that win championships.
Players like Preston Lounsbury will always play a critical role on any team at the next level due to their consistency, versatility, skill, accountability, work ethic and sheer dedication and determination.
Preston Lounsbury is a high character, high energy two-way player that brings it every time he steps on the ice.
You will win a lot of hockey games with players like Lounsbury in your lineup, but you will win the games that matter most with a player like that in your lineup.
You don’t have to watch him for very long to see how passionate he is about the game and how much he cares.
The ultimate teammate and team first guy continues to turn heads with his inspired play.
You may not see Lounsbury right away when watching the Flyers, but if you look closer, his skill and complete two-way game will truly jump off the page.
Preston Lounsbury is definitely a player to watch and has a very bright future in the game.
From the backyard rink to the Moncton Coliseum during his Timbits days to the QMJHL and perhaps beyond, Preston Lounsbury continues to do all the little things that matter most on and off the ice.
“It’s hard to put into words how exciting it would be to reach a huge goal of mine like playing in the QMJHL,” Lounsbury said.