In this edition of Pistons Alumni Update, we re-connect with one of the most beloved players to have played for the Steinbach Pistons, defenseman Kyle Rous (Pictured above with his parents celebrating an SEMHL championship as a member of the Notre Dame Hawks). Rous played 4 seasons with the Pistons from 2009-13, where he established himself as a dominant force on the back-end.
Rous began his career with the organization when he was called up to play with the Beausejour Blades in the 2008-09 season. In his next three seasons with the newly relocated Steinbach Pistons, the Winnipeg product endured his fair share of team struggles as the Pistons won 47 games. In comparison, this past 2016-17 season saw the Pistons win 49 games. Although the team struggled, Rous remained loyal to the organization and consistently produced excellent individual seasons.
Rous elevated his game to another level during the 2012-13 season. He was awarded the team captaincy and through his leadership, Rous exhibited the dedication and hard work it would take in order to be successful at the junior level. With a smart hockey sense, gritty attitude and wicked shot, Rous led by example on and off the ice and helped the Pistons reach its first MJHL Playoff berth.
Although this was Rous’ first taste of Junior A playoff action, the star defenseman played with poise, becoming the Pistons go-to player in all situations. Not only was Rous an offensive threat in the oppositions end, but he was tasked with shutting down the opponents top lines.
All the struggles that Rous experienced early on in his career were worth it as he ended his junior career an MJHL Champion. The captain finished his graduating year by leading the Pistons to the Inaugural Western Canada Cup in Naniamo, British Columbia.
Rous ended his Pistons career as the teams top defenseman in all major statistical categories. Rous finished first in games played by a defenseman with 207, goals with 43, assists with 93 and points with 136. In 19 career playoff games with the Pistons, Rous finished with 3 goals, 10 assists and 13 points. Rous was awarded many league accomplishments during his Pistons career, including a spot in the MJHL All Star game in 2010-11, the Player of the Month award for January of the 2012-13 season, an MJHL First All Star Team selection for the 2012-13 season and an MJHL Championship.
The following is Kyle Rous’ Q and A
STP: What are you doing in life these days?
Rous: I've recently bought a house in Notre Dame de Lourdes with my girlfriend. I am working for MND Plumbing as an apprentice and playing hockey with the Notre Dame Hawks, who won the SEMHL championship this past season.
STP: What are your plans for the future?
Rous: My future plans are to complete my levels and become a journeyman plumber. In the next couple of years, my girlfriend and I hope to get married and start a family. I also plan on continuing to play hockey with the Notre Dame Hawks.
STP: Do you still follow the team during the season?
Rous: I follow the team as much as I can. I enjoy seeing highlights on their social media pages and catching a game or two when I have the time. I rarely miss checking the score to see how the team is doing during playoffs.
STP: Do you still connect with any of your former pistons teammates?
Rous: Yes, all of the time. Most of those guys became like brothers during our junior days, and I still play with and against some. Since moving to a small town I don’t get the chance to see a lot of them anymore but many of us still chat and catch up when we have the time.
STP: Who was your favorite Pistons player and why?
Rous: I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite. I would say that I have earned respect for a group of guys that battled through the tough times in our organization for a number of years when winning didn’t come easy and stuck it through to see a championship in the end. Trent Genyk, Dan Taillefer, Justin Augert along with a bunch of twenty year olds that aged out before our championship run, are a few that I will always remember.
STP: What are your most memorable on ice moments with the Pistons?
Rous: My most memorable moment as a piston was game 6 in Steinbach with a packed barn and winning the MJHL championship. Nothing could have been sweeter in my final year than going out on top.
STP: What are your most memorable off-ice moments with the Pistons?
Rous: The best moments off the ice were always hanging out with your teammates, whether it was celebrating after a win or relaxing with the boys. You'll never forget those moments.
STP: What advice would you give to future players wanting to play in Steinbach?
Rous: The advice I think I'd give to any guy going through the Steinbach organization would be don’t take anything for granted. This franchise has worked extremely hard to become what it is today and if you get the honor to wear that jersey, you give it your all, on or off the ice and you'll see, it'll repay you by making you the player and person you want to be.
STP: How did your time with the pistons get you to where you are today?
Rous: I think my time with the Pistons helped me along my path by providing me with a strong work ethic, leadership skills and an attitude that doesn’t quit when situations get difficult.