As Pascal Aquin enters his final season with the Charlottetown Islanders, he wants to be remembered as a player who worked hard and was there for his teammates. The QMJHL team is back at Eastlink Centre after spending most of the pre-season at APM Centre in Cornwall. The Islanders play twice in P.E.I. this weekend, Saturday in Montague and Sunday at their home digs in Charlottetown.
©Jason Malloy/The Guardian
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A player’s last season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is a time for laying down a legacy.
That rings true for Charlottetown Islanders forward Pascal Aquin.
“For sure I want to be remembered (as one of) the guys who always worked hard, was always there for his teammates. Not for being the guy suspended for three games at the end of the season,” the 20-year-old Aquin said with a laugh on Wednesday. “Just remembered that I worked the hardest I could and the guy who was there for his teammates.”
Aquin, whose three-game sit-down came after a boarding penalty in the Isles third round playoff series with Blainville-Boisbriand, and the rest of the Islanders returned to Eastlink Centre Tuesday after spending most of training camp at the APM Centre in Cornwall.
Aquin doesn’t have the same stall at last season, but the six-foot, one-inch, 203-pound left-winger is happy to be back to familiar digs, ready to savour his last season in junior hockey and won’t make things harder then necessary.
“I have a different one, but it doesn’t matter. (I want) to enjoy every moment. I don’t put pressure on me, just want to play hockey the best I can. No expectations, just play the way I can,” said Aquin, who had 14 goals, 30 points and 80 penalty minutes in 68 games last season. He added another five points in 10 playoff games.
The Le Gardeur, Que., native, is one of four overagers vying for the spot on the roster, which can only carry three.
So far, he’s scoreless this pre-season with a minus two plus-minus ratio and four penalty minutes in two games.
Charlottetown is 1-6 overall in pre-season play and has another exhibition contest versus Cape Breton on Saturday at the Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre in Montague.
But the record doesn’t concern Isles head coach Jim Hulton as it’s team in transition and lots of new bodies after building up last season for a long playoff run.
“Zero concern about results. We just want to see progression. We like where we’re at. We’re seeing progression in practice. This will be a team earmarked by tenacity and hard work,” said Hulton, who doubles as Islanders general manager.
So far, the roster is at 26 players with a few cuts remaining. NHL first-round pick Pierre-Olivier Joseph was invited to Arizona’s main camp but Adam Marsh, also 20, wasn’t on the training camp roster. Marsh is also vying for one of those overager spots.
Neither Joseph nor Marsh have been in the lineup this pre-season.
The Islanders finish the pre-season at home Sunday versus Acadie-Bathurst. Game time is 3 p.m. at the Link.