Unscripted: Alex Drover

Some of the best stories ever told, don’t follow a script…

Alex DroverCase in point, Alex Drover’s rookie season in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The highly touted first rounder faced unexpected adversity throughout his rookie campaign that ultimately could have derailed his career, but through all the ups and downs, Drover never questioned the process. He embraced it and is now eager to turn the page and write the next chapter of his career with the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Alex Drover has never met a challenge he didn’t want to face. He climbed the ranks on many QMJHL team scouting reports in his draft year while playing for the Halifax Macs. Initially projected to be a high second round selection, he vaulted into the first round when the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles selected him 10th overall.

Everything was falling into place for highly skilled, confident, gritty winger.
Nevertheless, the transition into the league proved to be more difficult than initially expected.

“My first year in the “Q” was a challenging one both physically and mentally” confessed Drover. “It took some time to adjust to the size, speed and skill of the game. The schedule is a grind and you have key in on recovery to perform at your best for every game,”  he added.

Photo Credit QMJHL
Credit QMJHL

Drover quickly came to the realization that at the Q level was also a fast paced business. “You have to be prepared and adaptable to change.” A change in ownership, coupled with the high expectations for Cape Breton to make a run at a President Cup, certainly added an intriguing outlook on Drover’s growth and development as a rookie. By the time the Christmas Trade Period rolled around, the 10th selection overall was on the trading block.

In only 26 games with 11 points for the Screaming Eagles, Alex Drover was traded to the rebuilding Saint John Sea Dogs.

“I was very excited to learn that I was traded to Saint John. It’s a young, talented team, led by a first class organization that has experienced a lot of success”
 said Alex. “As a developing sixteen year old, the atmosphere in Saint John was refreshing. The immediate focus was now on development and team bonding rather than just winning. It was a great fit for me personally,” he added.

Drover doesn’t have any regrets or hard feelings towards the Screaming Eagles organization.

“First of all, hearing my name called by the Screaming Eagles at the Draft, was one of the happiest days of my life! Every time I wore that jersey, I wore it with pride, I loved my team, my Billet family, school, the town and the fans.”

Photo Credit Saint John Sea Dogs
Credit Saint John Sea Dogs

There was some buzz around the league that Drover asked to traded, but the young forward is very quick dismiss those rumours and wanted to set the record straight.

“No, I did not ask for the trade. I was as shocked as everyone else. I didn’t think that it would have happened to me in my first year. I developed so many friendships. I loved hanging around the rink and chatting with people. I felt like I was part of a team with a great future” explained Drover.

Due to the number of sixteen year olds already in the Sea Dogs line up, Drover was limited to only 12 games for the remainder of the Q season. The 10th overall selection of the 2018 QMJHL Draft was out of the league. Drover, due to a numbers game in The Port City, was forced to play out the season with Valley Wildcats of Maritime Hockey League.
He would only suit up for 10 games with the Wildcats, amassing 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists).

His time in the MHL may have been brief, but it definitely left a lasting impression. “My time in Junior A provided me the opportunity to develop my game. The Valley Wildcats coaching staff and players welcomed me immediately. They treated me as an equal rather than a ‘Rookie’, which felt great,” admitted Drover.

The Maritime Hockey League has a reputation for being an older, but a great developmental league.

“The coaches played me in every situation and gave me plenty of opportunity to improve. Although we struggled as a team, I could feel the group bonding and working together to make gains. It was a special experience that helped my confidence tremendously.”

Drover has already started his preparation for next season, but through it all has no regrets the way things have played out. “Were there challenges; absolutely, but I learned from them and grew as person and player. I have no regrets.” he said

Drover is anxious to prove he can be an impact player for the young up and coming Sea Dogs.

“I can’t wait for the season to begin. I’m literally counting down the days to Training Camp. For those who know me best, I always give 100 percent. I like to push myself and others to be better and I will do everything in my ability to help this team improve and win.”

Some of the best stories ever told, don’t follow a script…

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