Alex Drover is in the driver’s seat, literally and figuratively.
The highly touted former 1st rounder was on the road yesterday heading to Rimouski, Quebec to join the famed Océanic after being traded by the Saint John Sea Dogs.
It’s the second trade of his young promising career.
“The Sea Dogs organization, the community and the fans were amazing to me,” Drover said of his time in the Port City.
“The organization was first class, the fans are first class, I really enjoyed my time there.”
“I loved Saint John, but with that being said I’m very excited to be joining the Oceanic.”
“I’m super pumped to be joining the organization, it’s a great opportunity for me to get more playing time and really prove to people what I am made of,” Drover said confidently.
The Port City was supposed to be a new beginning, after a very slow start in Cape Breton.
Slow start in the sense that Drover, wasn’t given a proper chance to play or excel on a veteran Eagles team.
The Eagles moved the gritty skilled forward to the Sea Dogs for Nathan Larose in December of 2018.
You see Saint John was supposed to be a fresh start and opportunity that Drover needed to show what he could do, but that never really happened.
The Sea Dogs were over their allotment of “16’s” in 2018, so Drover reported to a Junior A team for the remainder of that season only playing 12 games for the organization.
Last year was supposed to be his year, but that yet again Drover wasn’t given an opportunity.
The highly effective two-way forward found himself in and out of the lineup.
There’s no question that experience could have taken a toll on his confidence, however it didn’t.
“When it came to ice time, I wasn’t a “go to” player in Saint John. I didn’t get a lot of ice time, for me the biggest thing was practice.”
“I had to be giving it my all in practice to keep getting better and better every chance that I could,” stressed Drover.
“I’m excited coming into Rimouski to put all those hours of practice and bring it into game time situations.”
Drover is quick to credit his billet family for helping him through all the ups and downs that come along with junior hockey.
“I had a wonderful billet family in Saint John.”
“The Kennedy family is like my second family, my second home,” Drover said proudly.
“They were great to talk to when I came home from the rink.”
“They did so much for me and I want to thank them for that.”
“In hockey there’s always ups and downs, it’s never a smooth ride,” admitted Drover.
“Sometimes there were ups in Saint John and sometimes there was times that I didn’t get the ice time that I had hoped.”
“The big thing for me was to stay mentally focused even if I wasn’t getting the ice time to make sure when I did that I was always focused and ready to give it one hundred percent.”
“For me the confidence thing varied, but it was always my number one goal to stay focused so when I got on the ice that I was at my best,” Drover said.
“I think this move is going to be great for me. I’m going to Rimouski with a positive attitude and give it everything I have.”
Entering 2020-2021, with a new Head Coach at the helm in Saint John, it seemed Drover would finally have the opportunity to prove himself once and for all.
Drover came into camp in the best shape of the life wanting to make a difference on a very deep Sea Dogs team.
That opportunity never really presented itself.
In 14 games this season, Drover scored 4 goals and added 3 assists, impressive numbers considering his limited role with the team.
Once and for all the highly competitive and ultra-confident forward is in the driver’s seat. He’s in control of his own destiny going to an organization that sees his true value and will set him up to succeed.
A new beginning and journey awaits the 18-year-old forward.
The long and winding road has been paved with adversity for Drover throughout his time in the QMJHL, but that’s all about to change.
“Life is an adventure,” he said.
“I’m always looking forward to see where it takes me.”
“I’m very excited for this move and to put on the Océanic jersey, I’m going to give it my all.”
“I look forward to learning a new language and being part of a new culture in Quebec,” Drover said.
Alex Drover is in the driver’s seat, in full control. The young gifted forward is driven now more than ever to show what he can do when given an opportunity.