Quebec forward Javier Simoneau performed well in the Canadiens’ rookie camp, so he will participate in the real Montreal training camp starting Wednesday.
It’s a big step for the 21-year-old skater, who was selected by the Habs in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. As Voltaires de Drummondville general manager Philippe Boucher knows well, it’s a well-deserved invitation. Because at 5’6″ (According to the list of Canadians), Simoneau often had to work hard to convince the hockey world of his worth.
“Xavier deserves to be there, he’s a great leader, a guy who did everything to play hockey,” Boucher told “JiC” on Tuesday.
“We questioned him because he was a midget, very young, very CI, but he was very good for us with the Voltigers, he was very good in Charlottetown, he took us to the final,” he added.
One thing is for sure, those who know Simono well will not doubt him.
“He’s the guy that (former CH coach) Dominique Ducharme wanted to bring in. He struggled for two years to get drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, Boucher then revealed. He was finally drafted at 19 and the Canadien doesn’t regret it.
Simoneau isn’t necessarily at the gates of the NHL despite an impressive internship at the junior level, Boucher cautioned.
“Whether we’ll see him wear the blue-white-red uniform in the National League in the short, medium or long term, I don’t know,” he admitted. But one thing is for sure, he will do everything he can to be a good hockey player, stay in Laval, influence the team and help the young guys there and continue his progress to be in the National League. “