Josh Nadeau is a Black Bear.
The diminutive scoring sensation has committed to the University of Maine. Speculation grew late in August that Nadeau and his family had chosen to take the college route when his name was left off the Acadie-Bathurst Titan’s 42-man Training Camp roster.
Nadeau signed on to play with the Edmundston Blizzard of the Maritime Hockey League a few days later. The 17-year-old quiet soft-spoken playing making wizard is off to an amazing start and is currently leading the Maritime Jr A circuit in scoring with 20 points in only 8 games.
“I’m really happy to be part of the Blizzard, their support system has been really good,” said Nadeau.
“My teammates and the coaching staff have all been great, I love working with them all.”
“They have all helped me with many aspects. The environment is really good and I always look forward to go to the rink,” said Nadeau who played his Midget AAA hockey with the Fredericton Caps organization.
“Being close to home makes it easier to be on the ice and in the gym. I love having my family and friends coming to support me,” Nadeau said proudly.
“Josh is very deserving of this commitment,” said Blizzard Head Coach and Assistant General Manager Emery Olauson.
“Josh is a rare athlete. I believe he has NHL potential,” stressed Olauson. “It’s going to be very exciting to see what’s going to happen over the next four or five years with Josh.”
It’s unclear when he will report to Maine, but there’s no question Nadeau is destined for stardom at that level. “Josh’s mind is what makes him special,” explained Olauson.
“There’s two things that are impossible to miss when you watch Josh. One is his size, which you will probably notice in warm-up and second one is just how much advanced he is hockey sense wise,” Olauson said.
The long-time coach and hockey lifer is quick to credit Nadeau’s dedication to the game as well. “Josh is really driven. The kid is in the weight room four to five times a week.”
“He is always asking for additional programs.”
“Josh is a quiet kid off the ice, but he saves all of his personal expression for the surface. It’s impossible not to notice him every shift,” Olauson said.
Josh Nadeau’s younger brother Bradley is currently playing for the Fredericton Caps U18 Major team and plays a very similar style to that of his brother. Bradley Nadeau is on his own path within the game, but it’s extraordinary to watch just how similar the Nadeau brother’s think and process the game.
Passion for the game runs deep in the Nadeau family, you could say the game of hockey is way of life. Manon Oakes and John Nadeau are classic hockey parents. They did it the right way when it comes to raising young men and fantastic hockey players.
It’s clear to see they promoted hard work, dedication, passion and playing the game the right way rather than promoting individual success.
The Nadeau brothers like so many other young Maritimer’s honed their skills in the elements. Frozen hands and feet never derailed their passion and love for the game, if anything it fueled their desire to reach new levels within the game.
The Nadeau family’s outdoor rink became their field of dreams. Those hockey dreams are alive and well for both brothers.
The Black Bears are arguably getting one of the smartest players to ever lace them up from this province. Nadeau’s hockey sense, vision and play making abilities are truly remarkable. In fact, they are in a league of their own.
“To play the game he does Josh sees the game above instead from his own set of eyes,” said Olauson.
“There’s not one team we play in our league that doesn’t try to put Josh under pressure and try to take advantage of his smaller stature,” stressed Olauson.
“He knows all five options all the time and quite amazingly always makes the right play. It’s really amazing how many times he makes the right play under pressure.”
Josh Nadeau is a special person and player who possesses a very unique skill set which is only going to keep getting better and better with time. The NCAA route isn’t for everyone, but there’s no question it’s probably the best route for Nadeau to take given his current size and stature.
At only 5’7 153 pounds the extra few seasons of playing junior hockey will give the lethal offensive threat time to grow and mature physically. One could speculate that Nadeau could possibly play in the MHL or USHL until he was nineteen years old and jump right into the lineup and produce.
This is the second NCAA Division I commitment the Edmundston Blizzard have had in the last two seasons with Chrystopher Collin signing on with Bowling Green.
Josh Nadeau is becoming a household name around the hockey world as is the entire Maritime Hockey League. The league is extremely underrated and is getting better by the second with players of Nadeau’s caliber calling the league home. There’s no question the MHL should and could become a pipeline for NCAA schools up and down the eastern seaboard.
In a few short years everyone will know who Josh Nadeau is especially the Black Bear faithful at the old Alfond Arena. “Playing NCAA hockey is something that I was dreaming about my whole life,” confessed Nadeau.
“Committing to the Black Bears is really a dream come true. Maine is a really good organization and the fact that it’s not too far from home makes it way better.”
“I’m really excited to get started,” Nadeau said proudly.
Josh Nadeau is Orono bound.