Olivier Haché is relentless. There’s just no other way to describe the player and person.
The Shippagan, New Brunswick product’s unpredictable journey in the game reads more like a Hollywood script than a hockey story.
Hache’s path in the game would rival any Hollywood drama possessing more plot twists and cliff-hangers, than many high budget thrillers.
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, Olivier Hache’s unrelenting pursuit of his hockey dream is truly inspirational. Through it all Olivier Haché has never forgotten the true value of hard work and dedication.
Field of Dreams
Olivier Haché grew up playing the game he loved in the brutally harsh conditions and frigid temperatures of Northeastern New Brunswick winters.
Frozen feet, numb hands and wind-blown red raw cheeks never derailed Hache’s love for the game of hockey, if anything it strengthen it. Hache’s journey in the game began like any other young Maritime hockey crazed kid with one exception, his field of dreams was the family’s backyard rink.
Home ice advantage took on an entirely different meaning for the Haché family.
“My earliest recollection of the game was our outdoor rink that my dad built for my brother and I,” Hache said.
“We would spend every hour of the day out there.”
“We were up early and would be on it before school started.”
“We would get back on the ice right after school as well,” Hache said with a smile.
From day break to late night games with friends and families, the Hache family rink was a landmark for hockey development in the neighbourhood. “There have been so many memories made on that outdoor rink,” Haché said proudly.
“I will be forever grateful for those memories, they will stay with me forever.”
From a very young age hard work, dedication and playing the game the right way became firmly entrenched in Hache’s soul. To this day the soon to be twenty-year-old still carries all of those life lessons with him each time he steps on the ice under the bright lights of the QMJHL.
The field of dreams not only inspired it captivated the young players heart and soul.
A Father’s Impact
The bond between father and son runs deep, especially when it comes to a shared love and passion for the game of hockey.
The endless hours spent honing his skills on the backyard rink under the watchful eyes of his parents Julie Paulin and Gaëtan Haché were quickly starting to pay dividends.
Even at a young age Hache’s creativity and skating ability were off the charts. The highly skilled elusive forward was quickly climbing the ranks making all the top provincial teams in his region. Nevertheless, he still needed someone to push him, someone to challenge him to be his best.
That someone was his father Gaëtan. “My biggest mentor growing up in the game I would definitely be my dad,” Hache said.
“From day one my dad coached me. He always showed me the way.”
“He always had confidence in me and pushed me to my limits to be a better hockey player and person.”
“I will be forever grateful for that,” Haché said.
“He made me the man I am today.”
Hache’s assentation in the game may have been very linear, but that was all about to change.
Trust in the Process
Trusting the process takes courage and heart. The ups and downs of junior hockey can be demoralizing and devastating. Olivier Haché has faced them all. Hache’s pure talent and natural ability was undeniable. His size and strength during his QMJHL draft year had some people questioning if he could fit in at the next level. As they say, ‘with adversity comes opportunity.’
That’s an understatement considering what Olivier Haché has experienced in his journey in the game.
“My journey has been pretty special so far,” Haché said.
“It’s had a lot of ups and downs and a lot of uncertainties.”
“I’ve had some injuries, but I’ve had a lot of fun.”
Hache’s unpredictable path has revealed his unwavering strength of character, but more importantly it has shown his will to compete and never give up on his dreams.
“Being drafted in the 13th round into the Q, there were a lot of people who looked down at me and didn’t think I would ever make it.”
“At seventeen I grew a couple inches and gained some weight and had a great rookie camp.”
Hache’s outstanding first impression at the Q level was short lived. “The first practice at main camp I got hit and dislocated my knee cap.”
Haché worked tirelessly rehabbing the injury while suiting up for Rothesay Netherwood School.
“By Christmas of that year the Huskies had called me up for a couple of games and then decided to keep up for the rest of the season.”
Haché thought he had finally made it; his hockey dream came true. All the hard work had finally paid off, but next set back could have derailed his entire career if he hadn’t had the right mindset.
By the time the 2018-2019 season rolled around Haché was confident he could play a significant role on what was shaping up to be a championship team.
“I made the team and then I got sent down at Christmas time when I was 18.”
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the mature well-spoken kid from North Eastern New Brunswick. “Getting the news that I was getting send down to the MHL was devastating,” Haché recalled.
“I was pretty mad.”
“Looking at the team the Huskies had and knowing they were going for a run that year certainly did hurt a lot,” confessed Haché.
Hache’s positive attitude is truly unique and certainly sets him apart from other players his age.
“Here I am two years later and honestly looking back at it, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
“Getting sent down to the Maritime Hockey League gave me my confidence back.”
“Playing big minutes and in every situation helped me improve my game a lot.”
“If I didn’t get sent down at that point, I don’t think I would be here today playing in the league as an overager.”
Olivier Hache’s growth and maturity as a player over the last few seasons is truly incredible. You see Olivier Haché understands what the word opportunity actually means.
Haché had worked tirelessly to get the Q level and he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way from staying as long as he could. Olivier Haché has trusted the process throughout his entire career.
His relentless pursuit of his dream and subsequent adversity he had faced along the way had undoubtedly galvanized his hockey playing soul. Hache was prepared for anything that came his way, even if that meant a change of position half way through last season. That’s right, the highly skilled effective two-way centreman would be win a spot on the Huskie blueline after a mini tryout was held just before the mid-way point of the season.
“It was a lot of hard and extra work,” Hache said.
“Switching positions isn’t easy, but with all the help and confidence I had from the coaching staff it made it a lot easier.”
“I understood that I was going to have a lot more responsibilities and I took that like a challenge and an opportunity that ended up working out pretty good for me, I loved it,” Haché admitted. “Playing defence helped me to grow and develop my forward skills,” he added.
Olivier Haché or Mr. Versitilty is truly ready for whatever comes his way this season in what he hopes will be a career year with the Huskies.
“There have been a lot of bumps in the road, but they only have made me stronger and have made me even hungrier,” Haché said.
“I believe a lot in everything happens for a reason.”
“All of those challenges have given me the opportunity to meet a lot a great people who have help shaped who I am today,” he said.
Hache’s journey in the game is another great example of patience, persistence and perseverance.
“Playing in the QMJHL at twenty is very special,” Haché said proudly.
“I think being able to be one of the three overages per team can open doors for the future and for some universities.”
Olivier Haché never gave up on his dream. He never once gave up on himself
Hache’s progression as a player showcases his relentless work ethic and willingness to put the time and effort in to give him every opportunity to play at the highest level possible.
Nonetheless, it also showcases how amazingly classy the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies are as an organization.
The Huskies are very well known across the entire hockey world as an organization that does it the right way. The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies believe in developing the player and the person, they do it the right way.
“The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies organization means a lot to me,” Haché said proudly.
“From day one, they believed in me and gave me a chance.”
“They push players to be better and to reach their potential. They are focused in all aspects of the game of hockey, school and social life, they are a high-class organization,” Haché said.
“Being a Huskie is something that I take with a great sense of pride.”
“All the support we get from the community is incredible.”
“To be part of the Huskies you have to play the “Huskie Way.”
“It’s special to be part of the organization.”
“The Huskie culture is something we take a lot of pride in,” Haché said.
Olivier Hache is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to live out his dream every day playing in the QMJHL. Haché understands what it truly means to skate on Q ice and has certainly never taken one second of his career for granted. Haché is quick to credit several key figures that helped him both on and off the ice throughout his journey.
“Jeff Lewis at Rothesay Netherwood School was always there for me.”
“Jeff had a huge impact on my career,” Haché said.
“Olivier is probably one of my favourite people and players I have had the privilege to work with,” said Lewis.
“He always and I mean always has a smile on his face and twinkle in his eye.”
“I don’t remember him having a ‘bad day’ here in two and half years.”
“Olivier’s practice habits, work ethic and mind set were exceptional for his age.”
“He was an absolute sponge,” said the long-time coach. Olivier wanted to get better and worked at it every day.”
Lewis’ high praise doesn’t end there.
“In the classroom Olivier was excellent student. He was friends with everyone,” Lewis said proudly.
“He always had time for the younger kids in our school.”
Haché is still giving back and having an impact on the hockey program at RNS even from a far. “I have a player on my team this year who has been at the school since grade 6, Olivier would have been in grade 10 at that time.”
“That player really looked up to Olivier. Olivier still stays in touch with him and sends the kid workouts to follow and gives him hockey advice.
“This year that player asked me if he could wear number ten because that’s what Olivier wore when he played here,” explained Lewis.
“That’s Olivier for you,” Lewis said proudly.
“Always helping others, being a big brother and role model and always leaving something better than when he arrived,” explained Lewis.
Lewis saw first-hand how Haché handled all of the adversity that came his way on and off the ice throughout his time at the private school. In his grade 12 year, Olivier was called up to Rouyn in January, our team was never the same.”
“We had a really good team that year, but after Olivier left we just weren’t the same team.”
“I think I underestimated how much he meant to the group and how much guys respected him,” said a reflective Lewis.
“He was the glue.”
“Olivier was always calm, collected and positive.”
“He was a true leader,” Lewis said.
Haché has certainly left a lasting impression on his former coach. “Olivier would always be up at 6am to have a chance to get on the ice or go to weight room for extra development time.”
“He knows what he wants and he will work tirelessly to achieve his goals,” Lewis said.
In the classroom or on the ice Haché always knew what to say to inspire and get the best out of the people around him.
“Olivier lost one of his best friends to cancer while attending school.”
“It shook him,” Lewis said.
“He later gave a speech in chapel in front of the entire school about how life is too short and to not take anything for granted and to live each day to the fullest.”
“I’m pretty sure this event had a significant impact on Oliver becoming the young man he is today,” said Lewis.
“It was a pretty powerful speech coming from a sixteen-year-old in front of entire school.”
“Olivier is full of gratitude and appreciation,” Lewis said.
The long-time coach and educator has worked with a plethora of student athletes throughout his career, Olivier Haché is clearly one of the finest.
“What sets Olivier apart from his peers, is his resiliency and determination.”
“He made the Huskies after the deadline in his seventeen-year-old year, and finished his RNS Diploma remotely.”
“When he got cut in his eighteen-year-old year he played Jr A and watched the Huskies win a Memorial Cup then went back as a nineteen and made the team in a ‘rebuild’ and is now in the line-up as a twenty.”
“I don’t think many kids could have done what he did and still persevere to play at nineteen and twenty in the QMJHL, Olivier Haché is just full of grit,” Lewis said proudly.
Hache also speaks very high of former Huskies Head Coach Gilles Bouchard. “Gilles drafted me and believed in me. He gave me my first opportunity to play in the Q. Without him I wouldn’t be where I am today,” stressed Haché.
Huskies current bench boss and general manager Mario Pouliot has also played a critical role in Hache’s path in the QMJHL.
“Mario has always kept believing in me.”
“He has made the right choices for my development, whether it was sending me down to the MHL or playing me on defence, he has always told me the truth and did what was right and the best for me.”
Rick Leger and Derek Cormier of Pro Evolution Hockey have also been at the forefront of Hache’s development over the summer months.
“I’ve been training with Rick Leger for the past four years.”
“Honestly Rick and Derek have been a huge part of my growth and development on and off the ice.”
“It has been really fulfilling seeing Olivier develop as a player and as a young man over the past four summers,” said Leger.
“Olivier has natural leadership abilities and brings a hard work ethic day in and day out,” added Leger.
“Younger hockey players coming up can learn a lot from watching Oliver’s dedication and drive to become better every day,” stressed Leger.
“Rick and Derek always go above and beyond to get us where we want to be,” Hache said.
“I wouldn’t be where I am right now without Rick and Derek pushing me every summer.”
“Over the past two summers Olivier’s overall skill set has been the most impressive of all,” said Cormier.
“The progression in his skating and ability to execute at high speed is great to see and now we start to see his ability to apply that to his game,” Cormier added.
“His work ethic on and off the ice has been a pleasure to see and work with,” Cormier said.
“He’s always smiling and is great player to work with, he is looking to get better every time he gets in the ice.”
“Olivier is always asking questions and putting in the extra work when possible,” Cormier said.
Olivier Haché is embracing every minute of his overage season with the Huskies. For now it would appear Pouliot has the exceptionally gifted skater and two-way presence pencilled in to play up front. Nevertheless, what does the future hold for Hache and where does he see himself playing after his junior career comes to an end?
“My plans are to play hockey at an AUS university and to start a bachelor’s degree,” Haché said.
What advice would Haché serve up for other players that go to the MHL and try to make their way back to the QMJHL?
“The advice I would give, is to trust the process.”
“They have to trust that everything happens for a reason and to take the positive out of it and try to get better and improve on your weaknesses to make the step back up the QMJHL.”
From the back-yard rink, to all the road trips during his minor hockey days, to the bright lights of the QMJHL and bus rides around the Maritimes in the Jr. A ranks, to living out his dream playing in the Q as an overager, Olivier Haché has experienced all the ups and downs that come with life and junior hockey handling them all with the incredible class and dignity.
There’s commitment, dedication and drive and then there’s Olivier Haché. His journey in the game of hockey is far from over, the final pages of the script have yet to be written, but the title of this drama is clearly set in stone, Relentless.