Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Sept. 22


 

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

   


(Posted 9:30 a.m., March 29)
Former Jr. Grad signs Division 1 scholarship with RIT

By Mike Beasley
Orléans Online

Cumberland Jr. Grad product and current Ottawa Jr. Senator Zach Salloum is heading south of the border next fall. Photo courtesy of icelevel.com

Growing up in Queenswood Heights as a minor hockey player, Zach Salloum always wondered where the game might take him. As the seasons went by he often pondered how and where his hockey journey would play out.

Now 21 years old and in his overage season in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), the talented defenceman with the Ottawa Junior Senators knows exactly where he’s headed because of his exceptional hockey skills, incomparable work ethic and engaging personality.

After five very productive CCHL seasons, Salloum is headed south next fall to attend and play for the NCAA Division 1, Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers in Rochester, N.Y.

“As a young kid, I remember playing hockey at the Navan Arena and watching the Jr. ‘A’ Grads play, thinking that it would be so cool if I could skate in that league one day,” said the École secondaire Garneau graduate.

“Playing with my Orleans childhood buddies for the Grads and then the AAA Eastern Ontario Wild was a truly memorable and unbelievable experience.”

When he was 14 years old, the offensive-minded defenceman started to think that a future in hockey may be in the cards when the Jr. ’A’ Gloucester Rangers (currently Rockland Nationals) approached him to say that they planned on protecting him in the upcoming Bantam draft.

Salloum eventually made the jump to the CCHL and turned it into five very productive seasons becoming a perennial all-star along the way.

A trade midway through the 2014-2015 season from Gloucester to the Cumberland (now Navan) Grads lead to an increase in playing time which helped bolster his confidence and the opportunity to showcase his above average skating and puck moving skills.

At 18, he was named Grads team captain after displaying leadership qualities that Salloum gives his parents (Ed and Lyne) the credit for instilling in him.

“My father always told me to be a leader and help my teammates be the best they can be,” Zach explained. “I always took being a captain seriously and feel that I did a good job with it.”

In December 2016, RIT came knocking with an offer to attend their prestigious university and suit up for the Tigers which the 5’9”, 175 pound defender gladly accepted.

All those hours of practice and travel to games, the hard work in the gym and setbacks from injuries was put into perspective with a Division 1 commit.

In his final year of eligibility, Salloum immediately became a hot commodity amongst the front runners of the league when it became apparent the Navan Grads were going to struggle this past season.

The Ottawa Junior Senators made a pitch for him in December eventually landing the coveted blue-liner for a slew of players, cash and future considerations.

“We (Ottawa) are very happy to have Zach on our blue-line, he’s a great kid and outstanding addition.” stated Marty Dagenais, Ottawa GM and head coach.

For now, the junior journey is winding down for Salloum with another starting in the fall.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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