WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Jocelyn Langlois has many great memories from playing in four professional leagues on two continents, but nothing compares to the rewards when it comes to coaching his 10-year-old son, Bryce.
This past season Langlois coached Bryce’s 10U team within the Carolina Junior Hurricanes program. He will move up the youth coaching ladder as the younger Langlois moves up in age bracket. Father and son completed their third season together in March.
“First and foremost, he is enjoying the sport,” said Langlois, who was in Wesley Chapel with the North Carolina Eagles 40-plus team that went undefeated at the Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Adult Men’s National Championships. “I am able to coach him and teach what I know. He is really receptive and really enjoys it. He listens, works hard and I love being able to teach him while he is on a team that he enjoys being a part of. I love it.”
It is part of Langlois’ desire to give back to the sport that he has enjoyed and been fortunate enough to have a wonderful and lengthy career in. The enjoyment factor is a key component to the message he delivers to the kids and parents.
“My message to the kids is to work hard, enjoy it and have fun,” he said. “It is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s about making sure there is proper training and development. The more young kids play, the better, but you do need to take a break. So, after your spring season and your tryouts, take a little time off. [Parents should] get the kids to play another sport, then you can get excited to start the new season in August. It gets grueling, so it is important to take some time off.”
When it is time to play, though, be sure not to hold back. Give it your all every second on the ice.
“When you are in it, just go,” said the 47-year-old Montreal native, who is also a father to a 12-year-old volleyball-playing daughter. “The more you can be on the ice, the better. The more touches you can get while improving your motor skills provides more confidence. It’s all about repetition, just like any sport.”
Fortunately, Langlois’ team was able to complete a full season amid the pandemic. There were speed bumps along the way that resulted in a season that ended in late March, about one month later than usual. However, they were able to get through the schedule.
“We were very fortunate that we were able to get in a full season,” he said. “There were cancellations here and there, but we managed through it. My team got to play 45 to 50 games.”
Hockey has been an opportunity for the Canadian-born forward to see the entire world, and ultimately settle his family roots in the United States. Langlois, whose youth team (Riverains du Richelieu) won the Air Canada Cup in 1989-90, played his junior hockey in the QMJHL before embarking on a professional career that took him to Macon, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; Rockford, Illinois as well as France and Germany.
Langlois’ high-water mark statistically as a pro was a 103-point season with the Macon Whoopee of the now-defunct Central Hockey League in 1998-99. He piled up 123 points in his final season of juniors with Verdun in 1993-94.
When he wasn’t lacing up the ice skates, Langlois put on the roller skates and played four seasons in Major League Roller Hockey for teams in St. Louis, Orlando and Ottawa.
It was a playing career that served as a foundation for what he does now.
“I was fortunate I got to play in the minors and Europe,” he said. “I got to remain in the game and atmosphere that I love and I get to give back. That’s why getting into coaching was important for me, because hockey did a lot for me. It is important for me to give back to kids who want to learn the sport and enjoy the sport.”
Langlois, who has been coaching for 20 years, has certainly carved a niche in that regard since moving from Los Angeles to Raleigh eight years ago.
“I have been able to create something very nice for myself in the Carolinas, where we have a nice youth program,” he said. “Kids can go on to junior programs and, hopefully, college and even further if they can. So, it is about establishing a path for these hockey families and players.”
There is a priceless camaraderie and bonding that is ingrained in hockey, no matter the level of play and no matter the degree of competition. To that extent, it has been a quarter century since Langlois made his professional debut and he has since made connections and built a, well, priceless network every step of the way.
“Playing hockey, number one, you get to meet life-long friends, which is amazing,” he said. “All the connections I made throughout the years, some of the guys are now coaching college hockey, some are coaching junior programs and some are coaching youth programs. It is a network with these guys and it is such a small world and it opened so many doors.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
|Classification||Host Site||Champion||Final Score|
|Men's 40+ Tier I||Wesley Chapel, Florida||NC Eagles (N.C.)||3-0|
|Men's 50+ Tier I||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Heartland Hockey (Minn.)||2-0|
|Men's 50+ Tier II||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Labatts (Fla.)||2-0|
|Men's 50+ Tier III||Wesley Chapel, Florida||New York Chicken Hawks (N.Y.)||5-2|
|Men's 50+ Tier IV||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Wisconsin Raiders (Wis.)||7-5|
|Men's 60+ Tier I||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Heartland Hockey (Minn.)||5-1|
|Men's 60+ Tier II||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Labatts (Fla.)||3-2, OT|
|Men's 60+ Tier III||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Metro Merchants (Minn.)||4-1|
|Men's 70+ Tier I||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Byfuglien Trucking (Minn.)||3-2|
|Men's 70+ Tier II||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Minnesota Old Timers (Minn.)||5-0|
|Women's 21+ Open||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Bell Tire (Mich.)||4-1|
|Women's 30+ Tier II||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Warroad Lakers (Minn.)||4-2|
|Women's 50+ Tier III||Wesley Chapel, Fla.||COCA (Colo.)||4-3|