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 Charlotte Checkers

Justin Sourdif Levels up in Year Two

May 9, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Charlotte Checkers News Release


Justin Sourdif made a splash as a rookie. He was an impactful player that put up points as he learned the ropes of the next level.

For year two, he was ready to take over.

"I was a year older, a year stronger," said Sourdif. "I definitely had a feel for the pro level after having a full season under my belt. Not being afraid out there and going toe to toe with some of the best guys in the league, it gives you a lot of confidence."

Sourdif stepped up as a sophomore, increasing his offensive totals across the board and emerging as a weapon for Charlotte up front.

"When he is on his game, he's a game changer," said Checkers head coach Geordie Kinnear.

Going hand-in-hand with that production jump was increased responsibility on the ice for the young forward.

"I think the role that I had this year, I was really appreciative of it," said Sourdif. "The coaches had a lot of trust in me to play against the other team's top lines and play some bigger minutes. I tried to take that on and I thought I did a pretty good job."

"He played all situations, all the time," said Kinnear. "He took faceoffs and also played the wing if we wanted him to."

That flexibility not only helped the Checkers inject Sourdif's skillset into various areas of their game, but it helped the prospect build quite the repertoire.

"Playing center is something that I've done for most of my life," said Sourdif. "Playing wing has definitely helped me be pretty versatile. I'm happy I've gotten the chance to play both. Playing center is something I'd love to do in the future - but saying that, I can play anywhere down the lineup. Faceoffs are something I really want to work on - I'll work with some faceoffs coaches in the summer. I think adding that to my game will help out in the long run."

While Sourdif's skill was on full display this season, so was the physical edge he brings to the ice - the 5-foot-11 forward packed a punch and never shied away from hits.

"He plays the game with some snarl, some physicality," said Kinnear.

"It's something that I'm pretty comfortable with now," said Sourdif. "Knowing you're able to take that contact and the speed and being able to make the plays at the highest and fastest level."

A third-round selection in 2020, Sourdif represents the next wave of talent for Florida - something that was highlighted when he joined forces with another high-end prospect in Charlotte.

"I feel like when I play with Samo [Mackie Samoskevich] and we're both clicking and we're both playing with confidence, I think we have potential," said Sourdif. "Adding Skoog, I think we were one of the best lines in the American Hockey League. Considering how young our line was, it's something pretty exciting to think about there. I'm really excited about the future."

"Two really great human beings," said Kinnear of the duo of Sourdif and Samoskevich. "Great competitors that play the game the right way."

Sourdif's jump from year one to year two was a sight to behold, but he's not ready to take his foot off the gas.

"Growing from last year, I didn't have as many injuries, so that was nice," he said. "I was able to play a little bit more consistent hockey. Overall I still think I have another level to get to. I think just a little more consistency with the physicality and on the offensive side just shooting the puck a little more."


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