Confidence fueling Parkes' productive season in Montreal

By Kris Dubé, Fort Erie Times/Niagara Advance

Fort Erie native Trevor Parkes leads his team the Montreal Juniors in scoring. Last summer he signed an entry level contract with the Detroit Red Wings.

Fort Erie native Trevor Parkes leads his team the Montreal Juniors in scoring. Last summer he signed an entry level contract with the Detroit Red Wings.

Trevor Parkes says confidence has been the key to his success in the hockey world.

The 20-year-old Fort Erie native is in his second year with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)'s Montreal Juniors, where he leads his team in scoring, with 31 goals, 28 assists and 59 points in total.

Last summer, he was disappointed not to hear his name called during the National Hockey League (NHL)'s entry draft, but shortly after received invitations from both the Detroit Red Wings and the Dallas Stars to attend their off-season camps.

The 6'2 left-winger decided to take his chances with the Red Wings... and the rest is history, as he later signed an entry level contract with the "original six" hockey club.

"Signing a contract with Detroit definitely gave me a big confidence boost," said Parkes in a phone interview with the Times on Wednesday.

Although he expected he might have been picked up by one of the NHL's 30 clubs during the 2010 draft, it doesn't bother him. The fact that two teams recognized his talent and asked him to skate at their camps, is enough to make him realize he is doing things the way he should.

"I'm just happy to be in the place I am now," he said.

Parkes, as a 20-year-old, is eligible for one more year in the QMJHL before he turns 21. Next year, he could possibly be called up to the Red Wings' American Hockey League (AHL) team, the Grand Rapids Griffins, their farm club where players develop before playing in the NHL.

He plans to work on strength and conditioning over the summer, when he will again be visiting Detroit's camp, getting one stride of the skates closer to wearing a game jersey with the Red Wings.

"The game will be a lot different and that's what I'm looking forward to."

Pascal Vincent, general manager and head coach of the Montreal Juniors had nothing but words of praise for his young forward.

"I really believe he should have been drafted," said Vincent.

He feels Parkes is the type of player that will only become more skilled as his career progresses, considering the drive and focus he has both on and off the ice.

"He's a super kid, but hockey-wise he's paying attention to detail and he is a difference maker," said Vincent.

"He's repeating what he knows and what he's learned over the years," added Vincent.

Aside from the production he has given his junior team this year and last year, Vincent said his personality and demeanor will take him far in his career.

"He's the type of kid any coach is going to like."

Often coaching staff will have sit downs with players to go over different areas of the game they could improve on. Vincent said when he has these conversations with Parkes, there are no hard feelings but only a sense of appreciation.

"Once you're done, he gets up, shakes your hand and says thank you."

In the 2009-10 season, Parkes played 66 games with the QMJHL club, tallying 27 goals and 20 assists.

The Montreal Juniors currently sit in the 2nd overall spot of the QMJHL standings.

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