It’s been a long road for Barrie, Ontario’s own Philippe Daoust.
From the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League to the bright lights of the QMJHL the highly skilled free agent forward is hitting his stride with the Moncton Wildcats.
Daoust is a perfect example and epitomizes the definition of a late bloomer from a physical aspect. The eighteen year old has always been offensively gifted and tremendously skilled, but for Philippe Daoust, it’s always been just a matter of time.
Flash Back to August and the 1st Day of Training Camp
Originally Written in August
If you didn’t know who Philippe Daoust is, you will soon find out!
Daoust was clearly one of, if not the most entertaining players on the ice during the second intrasquad game today.
“I was actually really looking forward to getting on the ice today,” confessed Daoust. “That’s where I feel most comfortable.”
“It was great to skate at this level with the vets and get a feel for the speed of the game at this level. I really appreciate the opportunity that I have been given here with the Wildcats.”
“They have been in touch with me for quite a while now and stuck with me throughout my last season, that meant a lot,” admitted the skilled center.
“It motivated me to work towards trying to earning a spot here hopefully.”
The 17-year-old possesses incredible skill and is a dynamic player in 1-1 situations.
He’s creative and relentless on the both sides of the puck, which is a rare combination to say the least.
It’s only the first day, but this kid has a legitimate chance of cracking the roster. “I will definitely continue to build on the work I put in the gym this summer and focus on foot speed shooting and conditioning because the game is so much faster and the players stronger,” said Daoust of the areas he’s focused on improving during camp and beyond.
Daoust is solid in the dot, and is very accountable defensively.
The young center didn’t back down or avoid the dirty areas of the ice, if anything he welcomed it. Daoust showed tremendous poise with the puck in high traffic areas and is also a very skilled playmaker.
Ok, I know it’s only Day 1, but this kid can flat out play.
The shifty skilled center has fantastic edges and very deceptive linear speed to the outside as well.
From what I’m told, he’s grown a lot over the past few years, but quite frankly I don’t give a rats ass how big he is, the kid can play.
If you can play, you can play, and Philippe Dauost can certainly do that!
“Having been the smaller guy for most of my hockey years, I always did use that as motivation to show everyone that size is only one aspect of the player.”
“I couldn’t control my size, so I focused on all the other things that it takes to play the game and that I could control.”
Control what you can control, Philippe Daoust controls the game whenever he has the puck on his stick.
Clearly, he’s not a bottom six guy, anyone would know that, but he’s very versatile and can play up or down your lineup, which in my opinion that Wildcats could certainly use.
Philippe Daoust has gamebreaker tendencies and that’s certainly someone that you would like to look down the bench and tap on the back to go over the boards.
Daoust is the type of player that the puck just follows him and when he has it on his stick great things usually happen.
It’s early, but we shall see how he handles the physicality as camp goes on, but for right now he’s a player to watch for.
Get used to saying his name, it’s not Daou who? anymore, its Philippe Daoust and he’s one hell of a hockey player.
Hitting His Stride at the Next Level
You see no one has ever doubted Philippe Daoust’s skill, however, tons of skeptics may have doubted his size and physicality.
Ultimately Daoust has proven them all wrong especially with his recent performance over the last month or so.
Daoust is hitting his stride with a very deep and highly skilled team with championship aspirations.
Yesterday’s game versus the Cape Breton Eagles was arguably his best yet.
Obviously, he scored a goal, but look beyond the numbers, Dauost has worked incredibly hard on every aspect of his game to ensure he not only keeps his job, but excels at it.
Earlier this season, Daoust struggled with the physicality, pace and drastically reduced time and space with the puck.
That’s all changed in the last few months or so.
It’s all about trusting the process and continuing to find ways to contribute.
A true indicator of Daoust’s skill and hockey sense is how he’s handled his time in the Q while adapting to all those aspects of the game very efficiently and effectively.
It usually takes free agents playing Junior A a full year to get truly comfortable and acclimated to the Major Junior level, that certainly hasn’t been the case for Daoust.
Daoust’s TOI has steadily increased throughout the season. Yesterday’s game was arguably his best of the season. It’s clear Daoust has made a great first impression and has definitely earned the trust of Wildcats bench boss Daniel Lacriox.
When Jakob Pelletier went down yesterday and missed the bulk of the second period, Daoust moved up in the lineup and was actually given speciality teams time as well.
Philippe Daoust is another perfect example of a player who has never given up on his dream to play the game at the highest level.
The kid that was always too small to play is starting to hit his stride with the Moncton Wildcats and will be an impact player for the organization for years to come.