Ecole Notre-Dame
(February 2012)

So effortless is his skating, so natural his movement with the puck, it seems hard to imagine a time when hockey did not come easily to Damien Giroux. The 11 year old grade six student at Ecole Notre-Dame (Hanmer) recently capturing the scoring race in the Northern Ontario Peewee “AAA” Hockey League (NOPHL), despite the fact that he is a year younger than the bulk of his opponents.

Yet the Valley East native acknowledges that in spite of being on the ice at a very early age, there were no hints of stardom from the start. “My first two years, skating was not easy,” Giroux said. “I didn’t have any suspenders, so my pants would drag down,” he added with a smile.

These days, dragging down the eldest of two boys in the family (younger brother Zacharie is also quite the hockey talent) might be the only way to slow him down. A true student of the game, Damien Giroux watches and emulates the pros as well as anyone.

“Watching guys like Sidney Crosby makes me want to be like him,” Giroux said. “Every chance I get to go out on the outdoor rink, I head off and work on my stickhandling moves – on boots or on skates.”

Little surprise then that the talented sniper has established quite the resume of highlight reel goals, including one jaw-dropping beauty while participating at the Brick Invitational Tournament at the West Edmonton Mall.

“There was a turnover in the neutral zone and I picked up the loose puck. As I moved in, someone kind of tripped me, so I was falling one way,” Giroux said. “But I got my balance back enough to go the other way, stop and tuck the puck around the goalie.”

“After the game, the refs came in our dressing room and asked who scored that goal.” While success has followed the son of Daniel and Claudette Giroux through his early years in hockey, his size, or lack thereof, has required a necessary adjustment.

“Everybody is bigger now and the coaches teach them how to look at a player’s chest, so it gets a little tougher to make moves,” said the well-spoken fully bilingual student. “I always need to use head fakes.”

Apparently, they’ve worked pretty well. Giroux tallied 36 goals and 30 assists in 30 games with the Nickel City Sons “AAA” Peewees this year, finishing two points ahead, in the scoring race, of teammate Bradley Chenier.

A pretty skilled soccer player in his own right as well, Giroux suited up with the Sudbury Athletic competitive team until two summers ago, opting to focus moreso on hockey. Still, he does manage to work in a few others sports, playing some volleyball and basketball for the school team.

“It’s important to have these school sports,” Giroux said. “It helps keep my mind off hockey at times and always competing. It let’s you relax and have fun.”


Lea Lemieux - November 2020
Syla Swords - May 2020
James Bertrim - April 2020
Cale Bast - May 2019
Sydney Coe - May 2019
Nicholas Burke - September 2016
Adam Bertrand - September 2015
Madison Laberge - September 2015
Ariane Saumure - May 2015
Nina Kucheran - May 2014
Dario Beljo - June 2013
Noah LaPierre - July 2012
Tanner Horgan - June 2012
Kayla Folz - May 2012
Morgan Melnek - March 2012
Adrian Kuchtaruk - June 2011
Ben Lagadin - May 2011
Kelsey Pitre - September 2010
Cedric Primeau - May 2010
Amanda Kring - May 2010
Malcolm Bilton - November 2009
Krysta Burns - July 2009
Samantha Cooper - April 2009
Bray Crowder - February 2009
Jenna Hellstrom - November 2008
Victor Hopper - October 2008
Jordyn Lacastro - June 2008
Lindsay Scruton - May 2008
Kasey Thompson - May 2007
Jacob Smith - April 2007
Danielle Coulombe - January 2007
Zakarie Glaude - December 2006
Spencer Burton - July 2006
Justin Leclair - April 2006
Matt Boivin - March 2006
Ryan Punkari - February 2006
Rebecca Mailloux - January 2006
Ross Proudfoot - October 2005
Mike McCue - July 2005
Cloe Lacasse - July 2005
Kristine Lalonde - June 2005
Scott Vaillancourt - May 2005
James Clendenning - May 2005
Erika Kiviaho - April 2005
Sammy Behnke-Groves - March 2005
Jaimee Lafraniere - January 2005
Trina Czerkas - January 2005
Danielle Rancourt - December 2004