By Matt Mackinder -
More than points, Garrett Meurs wants to improve on and off the ice for the Plymouth Whalers this season.
As the team’s top pick in the 2009 Ontario Hockey League draft, Meurs came into the OHL with maybe more pressure than most, but has been a steady forward for Plymouth the last three seasons.
Now playing for a contract with the Colorado Avalanche, the team that nabbed Meurs in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Draft, Meurs knows this is a pivotal season for him and the rest of the Whalers.
“Coming into this season, we know that last season in the playoffs (lost in Western Conference semifinals to Kitchener) we underachieved, but we need to not focus on what happened and go into this year as a new season and prepare for each and every game,” Meurs said. “With us, having most of the whole team back really helps out chemistry-wise. Everyone knows everybody and this helps everyone stick together as a team unit.”
On an individual level, Meurs has his eyes on a handful of items for the 2012-13 season.
“My expectations are that I’d like to improve on last season as I have in each of the last three seasons, but as it’s my fourth season, I’d also like to improve on my leadership qualities,” said Meurs. “My development over the past three seasons has been good. I have improved each year and I would like to continue that into this season.”
As for Colorado, which recently signed Plymouth teammate Mitchell Heard to an entry-level contract, Meurs knows what is expected of him by what he hopes is his future employer.
“I’m in touch with Colorado quite often,” said Meurs. “They like to know how I’m doing. They check in with each player, make sure everyone is doing okay and that they are doing the right things.”
With the OHL season literally right around the corner, Meurs is ecstatic to get back into town from his hometown of Ripley, Ont.
“We have a few newcomers this year and I’m really looking forward to this season,” Meurs beamed. “They can all make an impact and I can’t wait to see how we can all work together to have a fantastic season in Plymouth.”
Plymouth’s home opener is Sept. 22 against Belleville.