Former GMHL Forward Josh Lafrance Signs with the Newfoundland Growlers (ECHL)
Lafrance spent two seasons in the GMHL between 2010-2012August 14th, 2019 at 9:15AM August 14th, 2019 2:19PM
St. John’s, NL – Former GMHL forward Josh Lafrance has signed with the reigning Kelly Cup Champions, the Newfoundland Growlers, who are the ECHL affiliates of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Lafrance joined the GMHL in the 2010-2011 Season, playing for the Vaughn Wild as a sixteen-year old rookie. Lafrance was a top six forward for the team, and posted 20 Goals 14 Assists for 34 Points in 39 Games Played for the club. Lafrance’s play was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season, where his team would finish 11th and losing in the first round of the playoffs. Lafrance would return to the GMHL for his sophomore year of junior hockey in 2011-2012, where his rights were acquired by the Lefroy Wave. He would improve upon his rookie campaign in his second season in the GMHL ending the year first in goals and second in points for his team posting a stat line of 30 Goals 19 Assists for 49 Points in 40 Games Played for the Wave. With his efforts, the Wave were able to finish 6th place in the league standings. The Wave were able to sweep the first round of the playoffs versus the Shelburne Red Wings, winning the series 2-0 before playing the Braford Rattlers in the second round. The second round was a hard fought battle that went all the way to a winner-takes-all Game Five. Unfortunately for Lafrance and the Wave, the Rattlers would come out victorious, winning the series 3-2. This would end Lafrance’s spell in the GMHL, and he would go on to play three more seasons of junior hockey elsewhere, until in 2015, he committed to York University (USports).
Lafrance would spend the next four years with the York University Lions. LaFrance played with the Lions for three seasons between 2015-2019, missing the 2016-2017 season. He was one of the team's most productive forwards during his career with the Lions. He tied for the team-lead last season with ten goals and set a new career-high in points this year with 21. Overall he played in 60 regular season games and nine playoff games for the Lions and has scored a total of 41 points. He graduated this year with a degree in geography and urban studies. After his time with the Lions, Lafrance made the jump to professional hockey, signing in the SPHL with the Birmingham Bulls to finish the season. In seven games with the club, Lafrance posted three points. Although Lafrances time in the SPHL was brief, he made a definite impact, and soon, with the help of the Import Sports Management Agency, he was signed to the Newfoundland Growlers, who are the reigning Kelly Cup Champions, and ECHL affiliate to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The ECHL is the third tier professional league in North America, and one of the more prestigious leagues in the world. It is affiliated with the AHL and the NHL, and has advance players through the ranks to those levels, including players like Jordie Benn (Vancouver Canucks), Mike Hoffman (Florida Panthers), and Ryan Reaves (Vegas Golden Knights). Specifically the Newfoundland Growlers are affiliated with the Toronto Maples Leafs, and have seen some of their top prospects play for the team, including their 2017 First Round Pick Timothy Liljegren. We are proud to see one of our players get an opportunity to play at this level of hockey, and we wish Lafrance the best of luck next season with the Growlers.