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64 OLIVIER FILION


Salmon Kings Booster Club

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(note: a sentence which says 2+8=10 means goals plus assist equals points)

A play making left shooting centre, Olivier Filion was born on October 3, 1982 in the same city that produced the Richard brothers, Henri and Maurice, "The Rocket." Sixteen years later, leaving Montreal, Filion was skating for the Les Forestires d'Amos in the elite Quebec AAA Midget League.

Acadie-Bathurst Titan, the QMJHL northern New Brunswick drafted him 26th overall in the Quebec Midget Draft. His rookie junior season ended with 10+33=43 in 71 games plus one goal in four playoff matches. A sophomore season, 2000-2001 resulted in 21+33=54 in 63 games. Val D'or would halt the Titan playoff hopes, but not before Olivier Filion would display the play making skills that would be on display in the following seasons.

His 2001 playoff numbers were 3+8=11 in 19 games. The next season, 2001-02 would see his 75 assists be the sixth highest in the QMJHL. An additional 29 goals gave him the first of two consecutive 104 point seasons. Postseason would see 3+12=15 over 10 games. Victoriaville would stop the Titan playoff run in a close fought six game series.

Centering what some commentators labeled "the high profile line" with wingers Janis Sprukets and Jonathan Ferlund, Oliver Filion's 104 points were the QMJHL's 5th highest and had the 3rd highest assist total with 68. A goal total of 36 would be his highest to date in junior or pro. Ten playoff games would bring 3+8=11 points. His junior career would be capped with being selected to the 2002-03 QNJHL Second All-Star Team.

A note of interest is that the second line centre for Acadie-Bathurst, rookie Patrice Beregeron would turn professional the following season. Whereas Olivier Filion signed on the the UHL (United League) Richmond Riverdogs, Bergeron went on to the Boston Bruins. With the Riverdogs Olivier played 66 games with stats ending at 9+23=32. His first professional coach was the former Washington Capitol defender Rod Langway, the first NHLer who was born on the island of Taiwan.

Fall 2004, the site--Sullivan Arena, Anchorage Alaska home of the ECHL Alaska Aces. Heading "North To Alaska", Olivier Filion began the first of four seasons on the Last Frontier. Always well coached, fast and skilled, the Alaska Aces have become a perennial contender in the ECHL. His opening season in the ECHL over 65 games would net 8 goals and 20 assists. As in the QMJHL, playoff numbers would be a preview of outstanding seasons to follow. Ten points (seven assists) over 15 games were Filion's contribution.

Trenton, the eventual Kelly Cup winner would eliminate the Aces in the National Conference final. A siderbar to the 2004-05 season was the effect of the NHL lockout on minor pro hockey. An Anchorage native, Scott Gomez joined other NHLers in the minor pro ranks when he came home to play for the Aces.

The following two seasons would see Olivier Filion produce 60 plus points. In 2005-06, the Aces had an ECHL high of 53 wins. The Montrealer showed strong play making ability with 50 assists (11+50=61) in 72 games. Alaskans were delirious that spring of 2006 as the Aces consistently advanced to the Kelly Cup final. Filion's 12 points (six assists) in 15 games helped cement a Kelly Cup victory. The Aces would win this trophy, emblematic of ECHL playoff supremacy, on the road in The Arena In Gwinnett Centre.

His 50 assists in 2005-06 are his highest ECHL total for a season thus far. In 2006-07 he achieved his thus far ECHL season highs of 29 goals and 68 points. In addition that total added 39 assists. Fifteen 2007 playoff games would result in 6+6=12. That years Kelly Cup winners, the Idaho Steelheads, would defeat the Aces in the National Conference final. Earlier the Victoria Salmon Kings lost a hard fougt six game series with the Aces. In his fourth season as an Ace (2007-08), fifth as a professional, Olivier Filion would net 21 goals, plus add 30 helpers for 51 points in 72 games.Nine playoff games would round out his career in the 49th state, in which he had two goals and three assists.

A short sojourn to Europe followed. Scoring at a point per game clip, he had five goals and four assists in nine games with AG Tours. Looking for veteran leadership and play making ability, the Victoria Salmon Kings added Filion to the roster in the fall of 2008. In the British Columbia capital, he would contribute 40 assists plus 12 goals for 52 points in 69 games plus seven points (3 goals, 4 assits) in nine playoff matches. Ironically the Salmon Kings would see their playoff hopes dashed by the Alaska Aces.

Since his days in Acadie-Bathurst, Olivier Filion has worn the sweater number 64. With the Salmon Kings he has formed an effective partnership with his right winger and oft penalty killing partner, team captain Wes Goldie. Former Canuck seventh rounder Dan Gendur was their left winger for much of the 2008-09 season. Thus far in the 2009-10 campaign, Olivier Latendresse has been patrolling the port side for Filion and Goldie.

A player who is not afraid to mix it up when he has to, he is also a ferocious backchecker. It is not unusal to see him near the net, helping his teamated defend that area. A quick skater with above average passing skills, he currently (Dec 26) has three goals and nine assists for twelve points in 27 games.

If one word was used to sum up why a coach would like Olivier Filion, durability would be an apt fit. In eleven seasons, from New Brunswick to Victoria via Alaska, he has rarely missed a game. Often he has completed a full schedule of regular season and playoff games.

With his veteran leaderhsip,playmaking ability, and strong defensive ability, Olivier Filion is helping to write the latest chapter in the history of minor pro hockey in Victoria.

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