Derek Joslin just finished a promising rookie season with the Ottawa 67s. The 6’1, 175-pound defenseman played all 68 games, putting up six goals and 24 assists for 30 points and was +26. The Richmond Hill native played in all situations and was part of Ottawa’s second power play unit and he killed penalties as well. In the 2003-04 season he was part of the Aurora Tigers national title in the Tier 2 loop.
Joslin continued his playoff success in 2004-05 where he picked up three assists in the 67s run to the OHL final and Memorial Cup.
Joslin is an overall good skater with some decent offensive upside. With experience he will improve his decision making, but he has the raw tools to be a very good OHL defenseman. Joslin is eligible for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and could be taken as early as the third round.
Hockey’s Future caught up with Joslin after the 67s were defeated by the Rimouski Oceanic 7-4 in the Memorial Cup semi-final game.
HF: How do you feel your team performed this tournament?
DJ: We didn’t play all three periods sometimes. It has been the story of our season. We got here with hard work and we finished with hard work, every guy was on the bandwagon and every guy was giving it all they got. You know mistakes happen, but I’m sure that when we look back at the tournament we gave it the best that we could.
HF: What was it like playing against Sidney Crosby and the big line of the Oceanic?
DJ: When you have guys like Dany Roussin (FLA) and Marc-Andre Pouliot (EDM) on that line, those guys can be just as dangerous as Sidney Crosby so you can’t just focus on Crosby, because even if you contain him, there are two other guys on that line who can put up some points. So that is what is scary about it and that is why most teams have a hard time with it.
HF: There were rumors that you were injured this tournament, can you comment on that?
DJ: Yeah at the beginning of the tournament I injured my hand and I may have a cracked Scaphoid bone in my wrist.
HF: How hard was it to play through that?
DJ: It wasn’t too hard because we are here at the Memorial Cup and everyone wants to play. So I just asked my trainer you know if I could freeze it up, tape it up or something so I could still play and he said yes. So I took that opportunity and sucked it up to try to win the Memorial Cup with my teammates.
HF: Tell me a bit about how much you progressed this year as a player?
DJ: I learned a lot from the beginning of the year when I came in as a rookie. You don’t know what really to expect. Throughout the season I learned so much from my peers and my coaches. You know just playing the game and learning myself. To make it this far to the Memorial Cup in my first season you really learn a lot so hopefully I can carry this to next season and pick up where I left off.
HF: How big of an influence was Will Colbert (OTT) on you? I know you were usually paired with the captain.
DJ: He’s a huge influence. I just watch him in practice, I get to play with him in the games I was paired with him all season and he has just been a huge influence on me. He is a great leader and a standout defenseman. I have learned a lot from him and hopefully I can take what he has taught me and myself a better defenseman and a leader on this team in the future.
HF: Looking back on this season what will you remember about it the most?
DJ: When we got into the playoffs we said to ourselves that this is a whole new ball game, you know the season is over. Everyone counted us out. Against Barrie they said that they are going to beat us in seven because they were too fast. We beat Barrie and moved on to Sudbury. People said that they were too tough for us and too physical and we beat them. Then we go into Peterborough and they said that we were too beat up to play with them and we beat them. Then we go into London and everyone said that we were going to be swept, but we stole a game from them in their home rink. Then we came to the Memorial Cup and everyone said that we wouldn’t win a game and we made it to the semi-finals. So it has been great and that is going to be my biggest memory when everyone counted us out and we got this far.
HF: Can you tell me a bit about your physical play?
DJ: I like to look for the bodycheck, especially when things aren’t going our way in the game, and that is a good spark for your teammates and that can change the whole flow of the game. If you land a huge bodycheck then all your players react to it and everybody starts throwing bodychecks after that so I like to spark the team and get things going.
HF: What are you going to take away from this playoff run?
DJ: The experience. I experienced so much going through the playoffs and coming to the Memorial Cup. This is my first playoffs my first Memorial Cup in this league with this organization so if I can take this with me to next year it will make me a better player and I will know what to expect and be able to calm down and not make some of the mistakes I made in this run. That will make me a better player and hopefully bring this team back to the Memorial Cup.
HF: The 67s have had quite an impressive run of developing defensemen over the last few years, who works with you the most?
DJ: Bert (O’Brien) and Killer (head coach Brian Kilrea) both work on our defense. Bert is the defensive coach and he tells us what we need to be doing in our own end. Killer, since he also played the game himself, he takes us aside and tells us what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong in the different systems. So they both have been a big influence on the back end and they have done a great job.
HF: What are your expectations surrounding the draft, assuming that there eventually will be one?
DJ: You know I’m not too worried about the draft right now. I’m sure that it is in the works and I’ve tried not to think about it. I know to get noticed and to get drafted is a spectacular feeling and I love everything in the world to get drafted and be named to a NHL team. But things happen for a reason and hopefully the NHL solves something and maybe one day I’ll have my name called.
HF: What are your plans for the summer once you get a chance to heal up and rest a bit?
DJ: I am going to be working on my strength and my speed and just like any other hockey player I want to come back into the league next year a bit bigger, a bit stronger, a bit faster and make a little bigger impact in this league next year and hopefully help this team make another run in the playoffs.
Copyright 2005 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.