In 2010, like many aspiring young hockey players, Andrew Tessier was passed over by the midget OHL Draft. He says at this time he needed to make a decision. He had to decide if it was time to accept what felt like failure and quit, or keep his chin up and follow his dream. With support of family and friends, his choice was to keep moving forward and see what his best, his determination and his hard work ethic would accomplish.
That summer he attended the Beavers Open Summer Tryout. He proved his potential and made the team as a 16-year-old rookie. He says “my season with the Blind River Beavers was the fresh start that sparked a great Jr. Hockey Career that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
He says he missed the first regular season game as a healthy scratch, and the next six games as a Beaver due to injury. He finished the last seven games of the season occasionally on special teams and the starting line up. “That was what my year was all about. Development. The guys I played with, the community, and the coaching staff helped me develop as a player and proud team ambassador. What I learned from this team mentality has helped me move forward in hockey ever since”
Andrews experience with the Beavers helped contribute to his signing as a free agent with the OHL Kingston Frontenac’s the following the season. Was it a success? He says “not on paper, not necessarily on the ice either, but it was another step in the direction I wanted to go. From there I spent a season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, which gave me another season to compete with and against the best of the best. I would never have had this opportunity or the chance to frustrate Nathan MacKinnon with a few crosschecks and sit out four minutes in the penalty box next to him if it weren’t for my start in Blind River”.
These two seasons of major junior development led Andrew to the Lakehead Univerisity Thunderwolves of the CIS as the youngest player in team history. He has spent two seasons there and is currently working towards an honours bachelor degree in English and Psychology and his goal of a future in professional hockey.
“Starting with the Beavers, the last five years of hockey has been a tremendous learning experience on and off the ice for me”, Andrew says. “That’s what I believe hockey should be about and especially what it should be about in Blind River. Its giving players a chance to develop and the community a chance to support players like me in this development. Plus its good old fashion entertainment on a Saturday night in my hometown. The Beavers gave me a fresh start and I think they are ready to have one too.”