By Mike Stackhouse
In this day and age of analytics, it’s easy to forget that actually watching a hockey player to appreciate his true value can be something of a lost art.
Such is the case with Kendall Fransoo of the Battlefords North Stars. Fransoo, a 1996 born product from North Battleford, has had the benefit of playing parts of five seasons of Junior ‘A’ hockey in his hometown.
Brought up as a 16-year-old in 2012-13, Fransoo dressed for 20-games before cementing his role as a regular one year later and he goes into this week with 205 games experience under his belt.
Nate Bedford has been Fransoo’s coach for just 21 of those games, but he already sees Fransoo’s importance. “Kendall is the type of player every team wishes they had. He’s tough to play against, a great leader, and a very talented player. People under-estimate his ability to handle the puck and create offense. He has been and is a top defenseman in the league.”
Fransoo is no slouch in the classroom either. He brings an 80% avg to a potential post-secondary institution and has cleared with an SAT of 1440.
Fransoo says the plethora of experience works in his favour. “I would like to think I read the ice well and am able to make a good first pass and tough to play against one on one. Even though I’m no older than other 20-year-olds in the SJHL, I feel older and the game is a lot easier to make plays than it used to be. I can do a lot more from experience alone. I’ve been around long enough that I know and can anticipate when something is going to happen.”
Growing up on the family farm, naturally, Agriculture (as well as General Business) is something that appeals to Fransoo. “I grew up on a grain farm and it’s still my job in my spare time; but my future aspirations are to go to university in either Canada or the United States and continue to play hockey.”