Tristan Sanchez is relentless. There’s no other way to put it.
The undrafted gritty sixteen year old forward played inspired hockey this season for the Moncton Midget AAA Flyers.
Passed over a year ago in the QMJHL Draft, Sanchez channeled that adversity using it to fuel his unrelenting passion for the game in effort to reach his childhood dream of playing in the Q.
“I wasn’t so much nervous as I was eager to prove myself this year,” confessed Sanchez.
“I was disappointed with last year’s draft, but it gave me the motivation to work even harder to reach my goals.”
Sanchez turned in a brilliant season playing on the Flyers most complete and tenacious line.
“My coaches gave me a leadership role which allowed me to lead by example.”
“Over the past two years, my coaches with the Flyers have helped me to believe in myself,” admitted Sanchez.
Sanchez and his line mates Alex Petrie and Braeden MacPhee were the straw that stirred the Flyers drink.
The trio were the Flyers energy line, checking line and top shut down trio.
Quite simply they did it all and more.
They even chipped in offensively, and if given more offensive opportunities probably could have put up even more points.
Points are one thing, leadership and playing the game the right is another.
There’s no question Tristan Sanchez led by example and did all the little things it takes to win.
A phenomenal work ethic, positive attitude and unmatched passion and pride for the game perfectly describe the second year forward.
There’s relentless forwards and then there’s Tristan Sanchez.
His ability to create havoc and totally ruin the opposition’s game plan and flow while changing the pace of play is remarkable.
Sanchez isn’t flashy, he just gets the job done in all three zones every time he steps on the ice.
He takes pride in playing a complete 200ft game.
Simply put, Tristan Sanchez is a honest player.
Honest hard working players don’t always get the limelight, and their impact is only truly appreciated by their teammates and those who appreciate all the subtle nuances of the game.
Sanchez understood he had to work extra hard this season to garner attention from QMJHL scouts after being passed over a season ago.
“I wanted to improve my offensive play, this year,” admitted Sanchez.
The well spoken mature forward did just that.
Sanchez finishing the year with 17 goals and 11 assists in 38 regular season games.
After all the adversity a season ago what would it mean to get drafted and play in the QMJHL?
“Growing up I spent much of my time at the Coliseum watching the Moncton Wildcats and dreaming of one day playing at that level.”
“It would mean everything to me to be drafted this year and achieve my goal of playing in the Q,” confessed Sanchez.
Sanchez is quick to point out who he models his game after.
“I look up to Brendan Gallagher.”
“He’s a gritty forward who plays both ends of the ice extremely well.”
There’s no question the Habs star forward and pest gets under the skin of the opposing team every time he laces them up.
Sanchez plays the game the right way and seldom crosses the line.
The hard nose competitor can play both forward positions, which will definitely serve him well at the next level.
Speaking of the next level, Sanchez got the opportunity to see how he matched up this year playing nine games for the Maritime Hockey League’s Edmundston Blizzard.
“I realized that I am able to keep up with the speed and the strength of the older players.”
“If I’m given the chance to play in the Q, I believe that I will be able to contribute offensively as well as defensively,” Sanchez said confidently.
All Tristan Sanchez wants is an opportunity.
An opportunity to prove he can play, to prove he belongs.
The Lewisville, New Brunswick product understands the value of hard work and dedication like no other.
His ability to read the play, compete level and character is truly unmatched. In a way you could say Sanchez has always flown under the radar.
Sherrie Gaudet and Tony Sanchez decided to move their family to Moncton, Tristan was only five while younger brother Austin was almost two.
For Gaudet it was a homecoming after spending many years in Texas.
“Having just moved to Moncton from Texas, I remember being the only player on my team that couldn’t skate.”
“It would be amazing to play in the Q and look back to see that all my dedication and determination have paid off.”
The lessons learned along the way have undoubtedly shaped his journey in the game.
The sacrifices that his parents and grandparents have made to get him to this point in his career isn’t lost on him.
“I greatly appreciate all the sacrifices my parents and grandparents have made for me over the years,” Sanchez said proudly.
“From early morning IP practices to late night pick ups after my Midget AAA road games to all the time and money spent encouraging me on my journey to chase my dreams.”
“They’re always there for me,” said a reflective Sanchez.
“I am so very fortunate to have such a fantastic support system.”
The passion and love for the game of hockey runs deep in the Gaudet Sanchez family.
You see Tristan Sanchez’s grandfather is none other than the Big O, local hockey legend Oscar Gaudet.
Oscar Gaudet’s resume speaks for itself.
Gaudet played many years in the Chicago Blackhawks organization during the Original 6 era and is still plays four times a week.
“My grandfather is an inspiration to me.”
“He has always quietly supported me with his positive words and teachings.”
“I strive to become a great player and man like him,” Sanchez said.
Gaudet can been seen at every Flyers home game sitting about ten rows from the bench.
Gaudet quietly sits studying every aspect of the game, but you can tell his eyes light up when #23 steps on the ice.
Hockey is just a way of life for the Gaudet’s and the Sanchez’s.
Going to the rink and putting forth an honest effort every time you step on the ice means something.
It’s all about respecting the game.
The local hockey legend had this to say about his grandson. “Tristan is tenacious forechecker. He’s very responsible defensively and has good speed with offensive skills.”
“I think he’s an excellent penalty killer,” the longtime pro said.
Gaudet has been around the game his entire life. That’s what makes his next thought so special.
“Tristan is a good teamman, on or off the ice and is willing to put in the work to get to the next level.”
“Tristan is a real good kid.”
“He’s responsible, disciplined, good in school, easy going & gets along with everyone,” explained Gaudet.
“It gives me a sense of pride and confidence knowing that my grandfather is sitting in that same seat for every one of my home games cheering me on ever so quietly,” Sanchez said.
You can win a lot of hockey games with a player like Tristan Sanchez in your line up, but you will definitely win the games that matter most with a player like him on the ice and on your team.
Sanchez and the Flyers were poised to take on the Fredericton Caps in the Provincial Finals when the season abruptly ended due to the horrific COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since the abrupt end of our successful season, I have been working on my strength, agility and cardio by following a hockey training program daily.”
“I’m also taking a lot of shots to improve my accuracy and quick release.”
What does Sanchez need to work on the most to get to the next level?
“I need to work on my skating speed and stride.”
“I’m committed to becoming stronger this summer with off ice training and working with a skating coach.”
Persistence, character, and hard work has always defined Tristan Sanchez’s journey in the game.
His relentless pursuit to achieve his childhood dream continues to fuel his path in the game.
“There are many paths that can be taken to reach your goals.”
“If I were to have to play Jr A next season, I would see it as an opportunity to develop even more in order to attain my goal of playing in the QMJHL.”