Photo Courtesy Nick Boddy, RMC, Kingston ON

Copyright: Brock Ormond All rights reserved

The adjustment to University hockey - and military life - has largely been a smooth one for Nick Boddy.

The former Trenton Golden Hawks defenceman capped off a four-year Jr. A hockey career by winning his second straight Dudley Hewitt Cup Ontario championship in 2017.

Now, he’s off to start the next chapter of his life and career 75 minutes up Highway 401 in Kingston with the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins.

The Paladins have a long-standing tradition of combining elite-level sports with military duties and is one of the oldest University hockey programs in Canada, originating in the late 1800’s.

The setup at the school was something Boddy took into account once he visited and instantly fell in love with.

“The facilities at RMC are beautiful. Some of the buildings are very old and historic. The grounds are scenic and overlook the water onto downtown Kingston, which is within walking distance. We have residence buildings for all the students and stay in dorm rooms like any other school setting. We eat in the Cadet Mess; have a CANEX store on site and access to all the recreational facilities available to the military,” Boddy explained.

Boddy says he chose RMC for a number of other reasons, one of which was the close military ties with the city of Quinte West.

“…It is an elite school with an excellent engineering program, I will become an officer in the military and I get to play varsity hockey,” Boddy explained.

“Our class sizes are small which creates a great learning environment and it really keeps things personal. We have a really great dynamic at the school and a camaraderie that you won’t get to experience in a larger university,” he added.

Through his junior career, the Richmond Hill, Ont. native was heralded for his “lead by example” attitude and his willingness to sacrifice for his team, traits which he says will suit him well at the next level.

“Since this is my first year, I am still learning lots about RMC and the military but eventually, and through my leadership training, I want to be a leader and role model to everyone joining after me. I want to be someone others can look up to both in school and in sports. I want to be able to provide the same leadership and guidance that I am receiving now from the senior students.”

On the ice, the Paladins got off to a tough start. Despite that, Boddy and the rest of the team are turning their game around and are aiming for high achievements for the rest of this season.

One achievement they’ve received this season was being named to the top 10 of the Canadian University Sports Network rankings after going on a six-game point streak in November, which included five wins.

The 21-year old brings important championship experience to Kingston in the form of back-to-back Dudley Hewitt Cups and a Buckland Cup in 2016, which he believes will be a big boost to the team in the dressing room and in the field of battle.

“…That experience became more about being part of a bigger team working towards a common goal, trusting each other and becoming like family,” Boddy explained.

“That is what we have at RMC both in sports and in school…and that will continue to get stronger as we grow and move forward together as a group.”

Boddy credits his time in Trenton as well with developing who he is on and off the ice.

“Moving to Trenton when I was 17 forced me to become independent and self-sufficient, which made my transition into RMC much easier and less overwhelming.

Jerome Dupont, Boddy’s coach for his three years in Trenton, had a lot to do with Boddy’s development.

“Jerome taught me a lot about what it takes to be a good leader and all of those experiences I had in Trenton will certainly help me moving forward at RMC,” Boddy said.

For Boddy, RMC bench boss Richard Lim has been a similar kind of leader and coach at the University level, giving him an opportunity to thrive in what can be a difficult situation as a freshman defenceman.

“Coach Lim and the coaching staff at RMC have been amazing and I am continuously learning from them,” Boddy said. “I want them to be able to trust me as a player and know that I am reliable, responsible and will always be loyal to my team.”

Boddy says he’d recommend RMC to any young hockey player that aspires to enrol in the military.

“…It is challenging in different ways from other universities, but if you come prepared and know you have to work hard and will be challenged outside of your comfort zone, then you will learn and grow and be successful.”

Nick’s journey through hockey has been a very successful one thus far and he is certainly on the right path for it to continue in his life in the military. Nick is a shining example of success for young players who are looking to have junior hockey as a stepping stone for the next level in all walks of life.

Nick and the Paladins will take a month-long rest for the Christmas holidays and will look forward to the start of the unofficial second half of the season, starting Jan. 5. One of the highlights of the new year is the annual game against the U.S. Military Academy (Army West Point) on Jan. 20, the oldest hockey rivalry in North America.

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