A former Steinbach Piston great produced a solid first season in professional hockey in 2019-20.
Defenceman Justin Baudry completed his first year in the pros with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). He put up 11 goals and 38 points in 61 games with the Cyclones this season before the remaining schedule was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
His 38 points led all rookie d-men throughout the ECHL in 2019-20, and the La Broquerie native’s total was also good enough for 8th in scoring amongst all defencemen in the league.
“It was unfortunate the season had to come to an end, but in the big picture it was the right decision,” Baudry said of his first pro season. “We had a very strong team and would’ve made a long playoff push.
“Personally, I was happy with my season,” he recalled of his own play. “I believe I was a strong contributing factor that helped our team’s success, and I was one of the top defenceman in the (ECHL).”
Baudry spoke on getting re-acquainted to playing a lot of games in a season, as opposed to the usual 35-40 games in the college hockey calendar. “At first it was a slight adjustment from college, but I definitely found my rhythm throughout the season,“ he explained. “The higher number of games definitely takes a toll on your body, but I truly missed that part of the game when I was in college.“
Baudry spent two seasons with the Pistons organization and was part of the 2012-13 Turnbull Cup championship team. He was the first player in Pistons history to commit to an NCAA Division I school and spent four seasons playing for Bemidji State University, racking up 21 goals and 68 points in 146 games with the Beavers.
He signed a pro try-out contract with the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign, affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, following his senior year in 2018-19 and notched an assist in two games. He signed a contract in the offseason with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres.
When asked about some of his goals he’s setting for next season, Baudry simply said, “To continue developing myself into the best player I can be, and I want to help a team win a championship.”