Laplante says it's going to be 'weird' playing for the visitors tonight

Jason Malloy
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Victoriaville Tigres to play former Charlottetown Islanders teammates

Yan-Pavel Laplante is looking forward to playing in Charlottetown tonight.

The 18-year-old from St. Martine, Que., was traded by the Charlottetown Islanders to the Victoriaville Tigres on Dec. 22.

“It’s pretty exciting to play at . . . the Eastlink Centre,” Laplante told The Guardian Friday. “It’s going to be weird to play as the away team.”

Laplante has 17 goals and 14 assists in 45 games this season. He has 13 points in 13 games since the trade, including four goals and two assists against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Jan. 11. He had five points in the first period.

Laplante was seen as a big part of the Islanders' future after registering 13 points in 18 games last season. But he got off to a slow start in 2013-14 and never regained that form.

“I don’t know what happened,” Laplante said. “I know I didn’t play like I am supposed to play.”

Laplante said he had built close relationships with players, coaches and billets during his two-and-a-half seasons in Charlottetown.

“It was pretty hard to leave the Island, but sometimes it’s better to get a new start and that’s what happened,” he said.

The transition to the Tigres has gone well and Laplante said he is enjoying the season. Laplante was traded with defenceman Julien Leduc to Victoriaville for defenceman Luc Deschenes, a first-round pick in 2015 and a fourth-round pick in 2014. The fourth-round choice was flipped to Acadie-Bathurst as part of the deal to acquire goalie Mason McDonald.

Leduc has four assists in 13 games since the trade.

Laplante, a Phoenix Coyotes draft pick, is unsure what the response from will be tonight from Islanders’ fans.

“We’ll see,” he said. “I hope it’s going to be good. I loved the fans there. It was great the past two years.”

Organizations: Islanders, Eastlink Centre, Phoenix Coyotes

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Victoriaville, Martine

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