Francis Langlois is ready to prove he can be an impactful player for Moncton Wildcats.
The pride of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec burst onto the scene at last years Cats Training Camp, making all the Wildcat Quebec based scouts look like geniuses.
The diminutive skilled winger made a tremendous first impression on the organization.
The gritty two-way winger showcased his compete level, vision and skill throughout the camp and definitely felt like he had something to prove.
“I think I surprised a lot of people last year being a 9th round pick,” confessed Langlois.
“I had a very good camp last year. I came ready and played my style of game.”
Langlois plays a very similar style of game to that of Philadelphia Flyers star Claude Giroux.
The speedy skilled winger plays with grit, is relentless in 1 on 1 battles in all three zones and has outstanding vision and a deceptive release.
There’s no question the Wildcats hit a homerun when they drafted Francis Langlois in the 9th round, 149th overall.
Langlois’ journey to the QMJHL is another perfect example of a player taking full advantage of an opportunity, but showing that it doesn’t matter what round the player is selected in, it’s what they do after the draft that really matters the most.
The CEGEP rule may have played a role in Langlois’ short stay with the club a season ago. Many people in the know thought he deserved a longer look. Nevertheless, the kid from the south shore of Montreal definitely left camp knowing he was close to achieving his dream of playing in the QMJHL.
A New Year, A New Opportunity
Francis Langlois returned home a season ago knowing he could hold his own at the Q level.
Langlois had a solid sophomore season at the Midget AAA ranks for College Charles Lemoyne Riverains. The veteran forward embraced his leadership role with the club. “I gained a lot of confidence being the team captain last year. I had a lot of responsibilities on and off the ice.”
Langlois’ time on ice skyrocketed and so did he.
Langlois grew roughly two inches and put on ten pounds over the season. In 41 games he scored 10 goals and added 19 assists for 29 points.
The skilled two-way winger wasn’t satisfied with his numbers and quickly realized he needed to put in extra work, in hopes of landing a roster spot with the Cats in 2019-2020.
“For me to make the jump to the QMJHL and the Wildcats this year I had to get bigger, stronger and work on my shot,” admitted the shy soft-spoken winger.
Hard work, passion and dedication, that’s Francis Langlois.
So what did Langlois do this summer to be ready for his second QMJHL Training Camp? “I concentrated a lot on improving my shot and tried to build more muscle mass.”
“I was in the gym five times a week and on the ice twice a week as well.”
“I had a pretty busy summer.”
That’s an understatement. Langlois has always understood the value of work, it’s something that was always entrenched in his family’s DNA.
“I need to get faster and stronger,” Langlois said when, asked what aspects he needs to continue to work on this season and beyond.
As for NHL role models well that’s pretty self-explanatory.
“I follow two or three players at the NHL level. I like to watch Claude Giroux, Patrice Bergeron and Ryan O’Reilly. They are all great leaders as well,” stressed Langlois.
With all the work put in and the extra confidence gained from last years experience the young skilled winger came back to the Hub City eager to earn a spot.
Langlois had some nerves during Day 1’s intrasquad game, but still performed well.
He progressively got better as the camp went on and finished 2nd in the Beep Test and fitness testing.
Everything pointed to Langlois being a front-runner to land a roster spot until the unthinkable happened.
During the Cats first exhibition game, Langlois felt some discomfort and was shut down for the next two days.
One could only imagine what he and his family went through over that 48-hour period.
All the hard work, the endless hours in the gym could have all been for nothing. It would have been easy for the Wildcats organization to release the speedy skilled winger at that point based on the timing of the lower body injury.
Fortunately that wasn’t the case.
Langlois rested and rehabbed the injury under the watchful eye of Cats Athletic Therapist and Conditioning Coach Graham Black. It was determined after two days Langlois was good to go.
His dream was in reach, however, had he done enough to impress John Torchetti and the Wildcats Coaching Staff ?
Langlois got the call that he had been waiting for his entire life all he and his father Martin had to do was sign on the dotted line.
“It means the world to us,” Langlois said of being signed by the Cats.
“My mom and dad were both at the training camp, they have always loved watching me play from a very young age. They’re very supportive and positive with me and my brother Remy.”
“Seeing me in a QMJHL jersey means a lot to them,” admitted Langlois.
“They’re certainly happy for me and it’s a real honor to be part of the Wildcats organization.”
The journey and dream is always shared when it comes to the game of hockey.
Langlois understands and appreciates that aspect of the game even more at this point of his career. “My parents put so much time and money for me and my brother, I would never be able to give back what they gave to me.”
“Just the last two weeks alone, both of my parents took their vacations to come see me in New Brunswick. My dad even drove to Cape Breton, to watch me play last Saturday night.”
Francis Langlois is living out his hockey dreams, but for now he only has one goal in mind; helping the Wildcats win.
It’s to early to tell what role or line Langlois will be playing on, but it appears that Wildcats are going to give him every opportunity to play and contribute this season. Whether it’s an energy role within the bottom six or a skilled gritty play making and scoring role in the top six, Langlois can deliver on all accounts, either way he’s ready to leave his mark on the QMJHL.