SHAWINIGAN, Que. – Charlie DesRoches has decided to pursue the major junior hockey route.
The 16-year-old defenceman from Days Corner has signed with the Saint John Sea Dogs after he was the second Prince Edward Islander taken in Saturday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Draft in the second round, 32nd overall. Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals defenceman Jordan Spence of Cornwall was drafted by the Moncton Wildcats with the second pick in Round 2, 20th overall.
“I’m thrilled to be drafted by such a great organization, and I can’t wait to play for them,” DesRoches told the Journal Pioneer in a phone interview.
When asked if there were any factors in particular that played a big role in his decision, DesRoches responded: “They really want me, and I think they will be a really great team in a couple of years. To come in next year it will be a lot of fun.”
DesRoches, who is listed as five-foot-nine and 157 pounds, is also excited to be playing much closer to home.
“To be able to have my parents, family and friends get out to a lot more games will be a lot more fun,” he added.
DesRoches, who had committed to Northeastern University in December 2017, admitted the decision to play major junior in Canada or college hockey in the United States was a difficult one.
“It was one I had to think about a lot, but in the end I think I made the right choice,” said DesRoches, who is very excited about the Sea Dogs’ future.
“They had a great draft, and have had a lot of success the last few years,” he continued. “They know how to win, and I’m really excited.”
The son of John DesRoches and Julie McNeill of Days Corner is coming off a 42-point season in 53 games with the Selects Academy under-15 team at South Kent School in Connecticut. He registered 26 points in 33 games and an under-age player with the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild during the 2016-17 New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League.
“I had a great year, really for my development and was able to do a lot of skill work,” said DesRoches in looking back to his past year. “I really enjoyed it a lot down there.”
DesRoches said his goal in off-ice training this summer is to add strength and weight. He will attend a rookie camp with the Sea Dogs in a couple of weeks, and what type of player can Saint John fans expect to see in DesRoches?
“I like to be a two-way defenceman,” he answered. “I like to use my skating and make good heads-up plays in my own end.”