(Arlington, VA) “Hockey players, we’re always going to have to face obstacles. Let’s just say I got more than I wanted in my little career…”
Posted at 9:00 am
The note may be bitterness, but it is not. After four seasons punctuated by a series of trials and misfortunes, Hendrix Lapierre is turning the page about his time at QMJHL. “Finally!”, shouted the others.
Instead, the Gatineau native emphasizes, smiling, the “beautiful memories” he keeps. About how much he “enjoyed” his three seasons in Saguenay and another in Bathurst.
“It does something for me to finish junior, even if I am happy to get to the professional level,” he told JournalismTuesday, on the sidelines of the NHL Rookie Showcase.
I will always maintain a sense of belonging to the Saguenéens, Titan and QMJHL.
His career was eventually limited to 128 games spread over four years. Barely 32 per season, on average. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly cut the 2020-2021 campaign across the league.
But it was the injuries that cost him dearly. One, in particular, on the neck, deprived him of almost the entire 2019-2020 season, the year of his draft. The recruiters, however, had his exploits in mind in the fall and prior season, as the Washington Capitals managed to make him their first choice on the tour, on 21e Rank.
In 2021-2022, it was a ‘strange’ injury to the lower body that wrapped up his season – ‘bad luck’ in no way comparable to two years earlier. He was able to go back in time for the playoffs.
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It’s no wonder, in short, to hear him express his desire to “play for a whole year without a little hassle”. In Washington, he hopes that will happen.
Rested in good shape after a summer of training, he will report to Camp Capitals with the goal of repeating his exploits from last year. In the fall of 2021, the midfielder particularly took advantage of Niklas Backstrom’s injury to play six games for the big club. Then he scored a goal, the first in his career. He was then transferred to his junior team.
He is of course aware of the possibility of starting his professional career instead at Hershey, in the MLS. But he intends to do “when [s]We can’t make its mark in the federal capital. And that, even if the attack’s capitalization run is complete. On paper, at least.
“Last year no one expected me to play six matches,” Lapierre said. If I can get some games back this year, I can show them I can spend the year there. From there, good things will happen. »
But he insists, “I have no expectations,” adding that he has put himself “in a position to succeed.”
“I’ll arrive with my head held high and a smile on my face. I’ll be ready.”
To see the confidence he showed in uttering that last sentence, one could definitely take his word for it.
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