In the history of the Peoria Rivermen, we have seen many great players come up through the teams ranks. Many have gone on to have great NHL careers, while some find better luck in the European leagues.
One of these players, who only played three seasons with the Rivermen, finds himself headed to the Rivermen Hall of Fame. Trudel, 37, is to be inducted tonight before the Rivermen face off against the Milwaukee Admirals.
Jean-Guy Trudel played in only 177 games for the Rivermen, but his 234 points proved to be better than many who played twice as many games in Rivermen jerseys. His 87 goals, 147 assists put Trudel at being one of the highest point-per-game players in Rivermen History.
Trudel was a playoff performer as well. In 13 games for the Rivermen, Trudel posted 9 goals and 10 assists, again, more than a point-per-game in the post season as well.
Jean-Guy Trudel will be the 34th person to enter the Rivermen Hall of Fame, joining 23 other players, five coaches, and five “builders”. He is more than deserving of this honor and will be remembered as one of the more likable players in the Rivermen’s history.
Trudel still lives in Peoria with his family. He is now coach coaching The Peoria Mustangs, a North American Tier III hockey club.
It’s a testament to the Peoria Rivermen organization and Peoria itself, that a man who played only three seasons in Peoria still finds his home in the small town in Illinois.
I for one, love seeing stories like this. Players who come up the ranks and even though they spend little time in the organization, find a way to come back, like Trudel did in 2008. Then he finds his home in Peoria after his career is over.
A player who fits this mold currently? T.J. Hensick, a player who seems to love it in Peoria, who is Peoria’s top offensive player, and while he’ll get some call ups to the big club, was signed primarily to be “the guy” in Peoria. He is signed for another year after this and I wouldn’t be surprised if we returns even past next season as well.