One former Ranger is guaranteed a spot in the OHL final.
Ex-Blueshirts Ben Thomson (North Bay) and Josh Sterk (Oshawa) face off in the east championship beginning Friday in the 'Shwa.
Both guys were traded this past season - Sterk just before the opener and Thomson in late November. And both have flourished away from the Aud and enjoyed career years this past season.
I've interviewed both players for years but haven't obviously talked to them in months. And it was interesting to get their perspective now that they've joined new clubs.
Listen, they loved their time in Kitchener but they have grown to appreciate their new hockey lives as well.
For Thomson, what stood out was his need to break out of the "grinder" role and prove that he could score as well. He potted 24 goals in 43 games for the Battalion.
For Sterk, he wanted to prove that he was more than the third line player. He responded by more than doubling last year's point total.
Now, they're in the conference final.
Funny enough, Thomson was a mentor of sorts to Sterk while in Kitchener.