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Niagara IceDogs sign Broderick Kelly

Contributed by: Susan Tromanhauser (@tromansue)

Section M of the Jack Gatecliff Arena can pick out a winner. Upon arrival at the Niagara Ice Dog Black and White game, section M was gearing up for another year of OHL hockey. The devoted fans known primarily for their rowdy game antics were all abuzz about Ice Dog rookie Broderick Kelly. While Kelly impressed the die hard fans in attendance it was obvious he had also impressed the Ice Dog organization. On September 2nd Kelly officially signed with the team.
Last spring’s 5th round, 100th overall draft pick, Kelly is a 5'10", 180 pound defenceman. A native son, Kelly had one goal and 19 assists, to go along with 38 penalty minutes in 53 games with the St. Catharines Jr. B Falcons.
As the youngest player in camp Kelly may have had the edge over other rookies. His parents Vanessa and Sean Kelly billeted Ice Dog players since the inaugural season in St. Catharines. Kelly learned first hand what to expect at his first OHL camp. He was welcomed into the dressing room by players he knew from hanging around his house for the past few years. He was accepted into the fold like their kid brother. Kelly said seeing the guys in the dressing room was like “déjà vu all over again!”

Kelly has been well schooled to understand the atmosphere and the need for game preparation. Over the years the Kelly household has been the away from home hockey home for the likes of Matt Sisca, Chris DeSousa and Dylan Wood. From each player Kelly says he has learned things which prepared him for his opportunity to play in the “O.” From Sisca he learned the importance of good habits such as completing school homework and getting to bed on time. DeSousa mentored him on how to put on his game face and to bring intensity to the game. Wood taught him to always keep a positive attitude.

In spite of the first hand advice Kelly reported he felt training camp came with a quicker pace and he had to prove he could keep up. Broderick revealed Coach Marty Williamson indicated he needs to continue to play aggressive on the play and more physical. Kelly is confident he can contribute to the team by bringing his best game every night.

Being a local boy has it ups and downs. Kelly’s parents are thrilled their son can play hockey at this level and yet still live under their roof. Kelly is definitely pleased with his billets this year – Mom and Dad. Kelly will not suffer from homesickness or the pains of transitioning into a new household like so many other youngsters in the OHL. Playing for the home team is a definite advantage. He will also remain at his usual school, St. Francis but he will have to put up with chirping in the dressing room from his team mates attending Governor Simcoe where most of the Ice Dogs attend.  Kelly is quick to point out there will be pressure playing in front of the home town crowd. At a recent exhibition game in Erie, a 2 and half hour drive away, there were 17 members of the Kelly family in attendance. So far Kelly appears to be handling the pressure very well.

It has been a hectic September for Kelly, signing an OHL contract, celebrating his 16th birthday and getting his “G1” beginner’s drivers license. While not yet ready to drive himself to the rink, no worries for Kelly, he has Team Canada’s goalie Mark Visentin to chauffeur him each day! For the youngest kid at training camp, Broderick Kelly seems to be fitting in quite well.

And don't forget to check out the Audio interview with Susan and Broderick Here.

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