The top offence in the OUA East won't be resting on their laurels heading into the fall.
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men's hockey team bolstered their dynamic forward corps heading into the 2019-20 season with the addition of Daniel Hardie.
Hardie, a native of Georgetown, Ont., joins the Gee-Gees following a three-year QMJHL career with Rimouski, Saint John, and Charlottetown.
"They pursued me really hard, they were the first school to reach out to me," Hardie explained. "I've been following along with the season quite a bit, saw the success the team had."
"It was a no-brainer for me. They have a really good program and I'm excited to join it," he said, while adding he followed the team closely during the season on Twitter and OUA.tv.
In 2015-16, Hardie played alongside current Gee-Gee Brendan Jacome with the OJHL's Georgetown Raiders. Hardie notched a 48-point season in only 45 games, then earned a free agent deal with the Rimouski Oceanic after going undrafted in the OHL.
"He's an extremely skilled player, and an even better guy, so we're excited to have him here," Jacome recalled. "He's a skilled passer, he has very good hands too. He'll be dangerous around the net and I expect him to create plenty of offence for us."
In his overage season with the Charlottetown Islanders this past year, Hardie ignited as a goal scorer, registering a team-high and career-high 34 goals during the season, while also adding 44 assists.
"I'm a guy that sees the ice pretty well, I get myself into good scoring areas," Hardie noted. "I was more of a shooter this year – before I was more of a passer. My coaches have said I have a great shot, so I'm trying to utilize that a bit more."
In addition to Jacome, there'll be a second familiar face in the dressing room for Hardie. Fellow incoming recruit Dominic Cormier played alongside Hardie with the Oceanic in 2016-17.
"Obviously I reached out to both of those guys along the process, asking them questions about it," Hardie said. "I was asking Brendan more about how the regular day is, stuff like that, and Dom, about how the recruiting process was like for him.
"I'm obviously really excited to join those guys, play alongside them again, really looking forward to it."
Off the ice, Hardie already has his sights set in pursuing his academic career.
"I'm looking to go into something like a sports management, you need to start with the human kinetics at uOttawa," he said. "I talked to Brendan about what the program is like, he said there's a couple guys enrolled, so that would help for sure."
Stay tuned to @GeeGeesMHKY on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest announcements on upcoming recruits, the 2019- 20 schedule, and more.
— Cameron Penney