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Jean-Sébastien Dea is a model of consistency

The Rocket just closed a particularly packed portion of its calendar that was caused by the COVID-19 imposed pause earlier this season. Thankfully for the organization, those make-up games are now done and the Rocket are still sitting in a playoff spot.

To get through this long stretch of games, the team needed everybody to contribute and that was even more the case for its leaders. One of those leaders is Jean-Sébastien Dea, who had an A on his jersey during a few games this season. He is also the forward who played the most minutes for the Rocket this season.

In the world of sports, we often hear that availability is the best quality and it’s especially the case when there are so many games as they were for Laval recently.

“It’s not easy to play all the time like that” admitted Jean-Sébastien during this complicated stretch of games. “The guys are not used to having a schedule that packed, to play so many games in so few nights, but it’s not an excuse.”

Those are not just nice words from Dea and he shows it on the ice. During the last five games, the Rocket’s #10 recorded five points. The last game against the Penguins was one of his best of the bunch with an assist but also an impressive total of 9 shots on goal.

Dea doesn’t only work in the offensive either. During these same five games, Laval’s opponent never had more scoring chances at 5 on 5 than the Rocket when Jean-Sébastien Dea was on the ice. This means that night after night, when he was on the rink, the Rocket had the edge at even strength.

Not only is that a nice advantage for the Rocket, but it also shows a nice consistency, which is not easy to accomplish with that schedule. That consistency surely was not missed by his head coach, who seems to care a lot about that aspect of a player’s game.

“We have been saying it since the beginning of the season, the AHL, it’s all about consistency” recalled Jean-François Houle during those demanding weeks. “It’s not easy for some of the younger players, and they may learn it the hard way but it’s important to show consistency to be able to play in the AHL as a regular player.”

This quote shows how important Dea’s consistency really is. Night after night, he is a nice model for the young players or the organizations who try to pursue their development while adapting their game to pro hockey. That’s exactly what you want out of a veteran playing for a farm team.

This consistency obviously did not pop up out of nowhere. You also see it pretty clearly when you look at the complete statistics of the Laval Rocket season.

Since the beginning of the season, Dea maintained a scoring chances differential at 5 on 5 of +29. Among active forwards in Laval’s lineup, the only one ahead of him is his common linemate, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard. It’s not a coincidence if those were the two guys playing with Jesse Ylönen before he was called up by the big club in Montréal.

There is no doubt that Jean-Sébastien fulfilled the big challenge that was in front of him with the Rocket schedule the last few weeks. He also made sure to remind everybody in the organization that he is the kind of veteran that you want on an AHL team. Not only is he a good role model for the young guys but he also contributes a lot when he is on the ice.