Jack Campbell is counting down the days until he can join his new Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team.
The 17-year-old Souris native was recently traded from the Drummondville Voltigeurs to the Cape Breton Eagles in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick. He returned home from Drummondville, Que., following the trade and will complete his 14 days of self-isolation on Sept. 20. He will then join the Sydney, N.S.-based Eagles.
“I am really excited,” Campbell told The Guardian in a phone interview. “The team seems like it is a really good organization, and I know a few of the guys who play there.
“It seems there's a good young group along with some older guys for a good mixture. I think it will be a good setting for me.”
Campbell, who can play all three forward positions, had one goal and three points in 54 regular-season games in his rookie campaign with the Voltigeurs.
Drummondville drafted Campbell in the sixth round, 99th overall, in 2019 following a strong rookie season with the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild. Campbell had 29 points, including 10 goals, in 27 regular-season games in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Under-18 Hockey League.
A quick look at Jack Campbell:
- Age: 17.
- Hometown: Souris
- Position: Forward
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 162 pounds
- Shoots: Left
- Parents: Terry and Krista Campbell
- Siblings: Nellie, 16; Ross, 14; Pierce, 11.
Targeted by Eagles
“We were looking for a forward within the age group we are trying to build around, somebody who was 17 or 18 years old,” said Eagles' general manager Jacques Carriére. “We looked at some of the teams that had extra forwards and Drummondville was one of those.
“When we started talking about players, Jack was definitely someone we had targeted within their lineup because it takes a special person to be an Eagle, play like an Eagle, and Jack Campbell definitely met all those conditions. The way he plays, he plays like a true Eagle.”
“We were looking for a forward within the age group we are trying to build around, somebody who was 17- or 18-years-old. We looked at some of the teams that had extra forwards and Drummondville was one of those. When we started talking about players, Jack was definitely someone we had targeted within their lineup because it takes a special person to be an Eagle, plays like an Eagle and Jack Campbell definitely met all those conditions. The way he plays, he plays like a true Eagle.”
- Jacques Carriére, Cape Breton Eagles' general manager
Campbell, who was selected as the most valuable player of the 2017-18 P.E.I. Major Under-15 Hockey League, on the strength of a 27-goal and 54-point season with the Eastern Express, is looking forward to providing the Eagles with offensive production.
Campbell admits he did not have as many points last year as he would have liked. He also wants to play a strong two-way game and be a good team player.
“I feel a bit more confident this year,” said Campbell. “I’ll still be playing against older guys, and it will still be hard, but I have more confidence going into this year knowing what to expect and having the experience from last year.”
Carriere said the Eagles are looking for Campbell to play with grit and determination.
Campbell admitted he was surprised by the trade while adding he understands moves like this happen.
Did You Know?
- The recent acquisition of forward Jack Campbell of Souris gives the Cape Breton Eagles three Prince Edward Islanders on their season-opening roster for the 2020-21 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) regular season.
- Along with Campbell, defenceman Logan Kelly-Murphy of China Point is entering his second season with Cape Breton and blue-liner Jacob Squires is in his first year with the Eagles and second in the QMJHL.
- Squires, who played last year with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, was traded to the Eagles in June.
One major change resulting from the trade for Campbell is he's looking forward to returning to public school after taking online courses last year in Drummondville, Que. He will study Grade 12 at Sydney Academy.
Another positive about the trade is it will – depending on what teams are permitted for fans with the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic – provide an opportunity for Campbell’s family to see him play more this season. Last year, Drummondville only made two swings through the Maritimes as the Quebec-based teams only played Maritimes Division teams twice – once home and once away.
This year, due to COVID-19, teams are only playing regular-season games within their division, so Quebec-based teams will not be visiting the Maritimes.
“My family is excited,” said Campbell. “They only got to see a few games last year. They’ll get to see me play a lot more this year.”