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Charlottetown Islanders’ captain Brendon Clavelle has found right fit for his next chapter at St. FX


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Brendon Clavelle went from junior A walk-on to the captain of the Charlottetown Islanders and now will continue his hockey career with one of the region’s top university teams.

Clavelle has committed to the St. FX X-Men for the 2020-21 Atlantic University Sport season.

Brendon Clavelle played three seasons with the Charlottetown Islanders. File
Brendon Clavelle played three seasons with the Charlottetown Islanders. File

“It’s been a crazy ride,” the 20-year-old Kapuskasing, Ont., native said. “I would never had imagined that.”

Clavelle and the Islanders' associate coach Guy Girouard are both from the same northern Ontario community, and Girouard knew the family. The Islanders called Clavelle to see if he was interested in attending a free agent camp. He did and showed enough promise to earn an invite to the team’s 2017 training camp.

Clavelle made the rebuilding Islanders’ roster and really hit his stride after returning from a shoulder injury in the second half. He formed a shutdown pair with Hunter Drew, and the duo was a key ingredient in the Islanders’ run to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) semifinal.

“I’m truly lucky and blessed to have had the opportunity to go to Charlottetown,” Clavelle said.

He thanked the coaching staff of Jim Hulton, Girouard, Kevin Henderson and former assistant Brad MacKenzie, plus the support staff for preparing him for the next stage of his life.

He singled out athletic therapist Kevin Elliott and equipment manager Andrew (Spider) MacNeill as integral parts of the Islanders family.

“Those two guys really go under the radar,” Clavelle said. “They’re a bigger part of the team than anybody really knows.”

Hulton said he was thrilled for Clavelle, who earned his spot at the next level with good-old fashioned hard work.

“Brendon is a good example of what is great about junior hockey,” the head coach said.

“A lot of times we hear about the marquee people – the first-round draft picks and the superstars – but to get a kid out of northern Ontario as a free agent, who nobody had any real knowledge of, and then three years later to see him wearing the C on his sweater speaks to the growth, not only of him as a person and as a player, but also the opportunity that our level presents.”

Clavelle said the decision to attend St. FX in Antigonish, N.S., was fairly easy as it is a renowned university with a good fit for him both in hockey and education.

“It’s a small town, and the campus is beautiful,” said Clavelle, who will study psychology. “It looks like a perfect setup.”

X-Men head coach Brad Peddle spoke with a number of QMJHL coaches, including Hulton, as he did his homework on Clavelle.

“When that many people are saying good things, you know you’re getting a really solid kid and hell of a player,” he said.

Clavelle will have a familiar face in the dressing room with him next season in fellow Islanders’ overager Ethan Crossman. The forward committed first and then helped in the recruitment of Clavelle.

Attending X will also reunite Clavelle with friend Patty Kyte, the former Halifax Mooseheads and Chicoutimi Sagueneens blue-liner. The two played junior A together in Pembroke, Ont., with the Lumber Kings in 2016-17 and attended the same French school.

Defenceman Patty Kyte played three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Halifax and Chicoutimi.
Defenceman Patty Kyte played three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Halifax and Chicoutimi.

“It’s super cool,” Clavelle said. “It’s something that we didn't think of when we were playing in Pembroke.”

Peddle said he felt the need to strengthen his team's defence this off-season.

“We’re adding two really good defencemen to our team,” he said. “Both guys are highly competitive, they’re high character, they’re captains and both play the game the right way.”

Clavelle, Crossman and Kyte won’t just be teammates, they are going to be roommates.

Clavelle made the 22-hour drive home earlier this week and while he would rather be in Charlottetown playing hockey, he could see the silver lining.

“It’s a good place to be isolated,” he said. “There’s a ton of snow, so I’ve gone snowshoeing, I’ve gone sledding and I’m going to go skiing.”

Brendon Clavelle laughs with a Charlottetown Islanders' teammate while preparing for a practice during the 2019-20 hockey season.
Brendon Clavelle laughs with a Charlottetown Islanders' teammate while preparing for a practice during the 2019-20 hockey season.

Need to know

Brendon Clavelle
Brendon Clavelle

Who – Brendon Clavelle, the captain of the Charlottetown Islanders.

Size, position, age – A five-foot-11, 195-pound defenceman. He is 20 years old.


The latest – Clavelle has committed to play for the St. FX X-Men of the Atlantic University Sport conference in 2020-21.
Clavelle said: “I am truly fortunate as not many student-athletes have the opportunity to further their education and hockey career at such a prestigious university.”


“He is a very good defender that plays a hard, competitive game. He is a player that is used to playing against other teams’ top players.”

X-Men head coach Brad Peddle


Statistics
Season    GP    G    A    Pts.
2017-18    56    0    7    7
2018-19    68    4    17    21
2019-20    54    2    18    20

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