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MR. BIG SHOT: Josh Norris on offensive tear in Belleville

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BELLEVILLE – Of all the abilities Belleville Senators centre Josh Norris possesses, it’s the shot that asserts itself essentially the most.If you happen to blinked, you’ll have missed the Norris conversion of the cross-ice go from Logan Brown on a primary interval energy play towards the Utica Comets right here Wednesday evening.

Josh Norris of the Belleville Senators

Jason Scourse

After the windmill movement from Norris, stationed within the faceoff circle to the left of Utica Comets goaltender Zack McIntyre, the puck was gone and into the web in a flash.It was Norris’s sixth purpose in his previous 4 video games, his ninth in his previous 9 contests and his 20th of the season, tops amongst American Hockey League rookies and third general within the AHL.On an identical play on a second interval energy play, Norris’s stick broke as he linked on a go from Brown. The puck then slid to the entrance of the web, the place Alex Formenton, second in AHL rookie scoring with 16 targets, discovered the vary.Once you’re scorching, you’re scorching.“I’ve at all times been capable of shoot it fairly nicely,” says Norris, one of many key items within the commerce of Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks. “My dad (former NHL winger Dwayne) shot it fairly nicely. Each of my brothers (Coale and Dalton) shoot it nicely. It simply sort of runs within the household. Dad would at all times put up the yard rink and that’s what we did.”

Josh Norris of the Belleville Senators

Jason Scourse

The early returns from the 20-year-old Norris, drafted 19th general by San Jose within the 2017 NHL entry draft, have been pleasantly stunning for the Senators group.Earlier than the season started, Norris had stored his targets modest. After main shoulder surgical procedure final spring ended his season with the College of Michigan, he was cautious of getting forward of himself.“I attempted to not have too many expectations,” he mentioned. “I simply tried to enter it and work laborious. I knew in my first 12 months, I might have lots to study and I attempted to hear as a lot I may. I acquired off to a sluggish begin, however I caught with it.”Belleville coach Troy Mann has given Norris extra ice time because the season develops. With Belleville charging up the standings in late November and December, Norris benefited from taking part in alongside Drake Batherson and Rudolfs Balcers. Batherson and Balcers have since been recalled to the massive leagues, in Detroit because the Senators put together to tackle the Crimson Wings Friday.“As a talented participant, (Norris) has acquired a reasonably good motor by way of his compete stage,” mentioned Mann. “He’s acquired good imaginative and prescient, a superb hockey IQ and, in fact, an incredible shot. He has additionally in all probability been our greatest faceoff man, too.“I don’t suppose we’d be the place we’re at proper now with out what he has delivered to the desk.”However, and there’s virtually at all times an identical however with offensively-gifted younger expertise, there’s room for defensive enhancements. In a 3rd interval battle behind his personal internet Wednesday, Norris misplaced his test, main on to a Utica purpose. It was a part of a sequence of breakdowns that turned Belleville’s snug 2-Zero lead right into a Three-2 loss that had Mann speaking in regards to the want for maturity and continued development from his younger squad.Accordingly, the mum or dad Senators received’t rush Norris. Identical to with Brown and defenceman Erik Brannstrom – these two can personal an AHL energy play with their passing expertise, however have struggled for consistency throughout their first few brushes within the NHL — it’s all about utilizing the Belleville expertise to construct an entire package deal.Norris says Batherson has been a unbelievable sounding board in serving to him acknowledge what the event highway is all about.“We went by way of among the identical issues,” he mentioned. “We’re each expert gamers and need to make performs. He helped me with holding on to the puck (longer) and realizing you have got a little bit extra time than you suppose.”Defensively, Norris says persistence and presence of thoughts are very important.“Generally, doing extra is much less,” he mentioned. “Simply being in the fitting place generally, utilizing your mind earlier than you dash to a spot. That’s one thing I needed to alter to a little bit bit. My plus/minus is lots higher than it was at first of the 12 months.”With Norris, Balcers and a pending high 2020 first spherical draft choose additionally coming from slumping San Jose, the pluses from the Karlsson commerce are additionally beginning to add up.kwarren@postmedia.comTwitter.com/CitizenkwarrenALSO IN SPORTSGARRIOCH: Scouting conferences will chart the course for Senators futureSNAPSHOTS: Ottawa Senators lick their wounds after ugly loss to CapitalsJoey Daccord staking his declare to Belleville crease  

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