Prince Edward Island continues to produce solid defensive prospects for the QMJHL and beyond.
You could run the names, but the list would seemingly be endless.
PEI is turning into a developmental hotspot for highly skilled defenceman.
Charlottetown Knights defensive star Luke Coughlin is the next one in line. Coughlin is an elite level skater that thinks the game the same way.
That’s a lethal combination to have for any player, especially when you are a solid two-way transitional puck mover.
The Charlottetown product like so many other QMJHL draft eligible players are trying to make the most of a very difficult situation with COVID 19 drastically effecting their season.
“There have been a few nerves this year knowing it is my draft year, but I’m trying to not get caught up thinking about that too much,” Coughlin said.
The pressure of a players draft can be overwhelming and many times hinder their performance and development. That certainly isn’t the case with Coughlin.
“Each and every practice and game I’ve been trying to improve and make sure I contribute to my teams success.”
“This season I’ve been trying to improve my overall strength and speed,” explained Coughlin.
“It has been a crazy season and through all the stops and starts I have been trying to stay positive and work on my overall physical strength and the power of my shot,” Coughlin said.
“The Knights coaching staff have been doing a great job of keeping our team focused and on the ice as much a possible.”
Coughlin’s play so far has definitely caught the attention of QMJHL scouts.
“Luke is a stocky and strong defenceman who doesn’t hesitate to support and jump in offensively when necessary,” said a QMJHL scout.
“He can play at high speed and plays with great confidence. He’s a great leader on the ice and can definitely bring a physical dimension to the game.”
Skill, speed, hockey sense and amazing vision.
You see Luke Coughlin possesses all those amazing attributes, but it’s the other intangibles like leadership, character and an unmatched passion for the game that set him apart.
“At the next level I look to continue to progress as a two way defenceman who loves to chip in offensively and always be a leader on and off the ice,” Coughlin said proudly.
“It would be an honour to be drafted in the Q since it has been a goal of mine for many years.”
That dream is quickly becoming a reality.
Coughlin will undoubtedly join a growing fraternity of Islanders making an impact at QMJHL level.
The rangy smooth skating rearguard is one of those players that seems to never tire and that could skate forever similar to Torey Krug and Morgan Reilly.
“Growing up I have always looked up to Riley and Krug, because I really like how they contribute to their team’s offence, I love to model my game after theirs.”
Coughlin’s passion for the game and love of skating started very early.
Like so many other Islanders and Maritimers the harsh winter elements were where all the dreams began.
“My earliest memory of playing hockey is spending countless hours on my backyard rink with friends and teammates.”
Through all the ups and downs that the game presents the mature well spoken 15-year-old is incredibly grateful for his family’s support.
“Over the years, my parents have made many sacrifices such as getting me to the rink for 5:30 am practices. Our family vacations have revolved around hockey tournaments.”
“My mom has given up many hours to be the manager of almost every hockey team I have been on. I would not be where I am to without their support,” Coughlin said proudly.
All the sacrifices on and off the ice have certainly paid dividends.
The sky is the limit for Islanders next top defensive prospect.
“It is very exciting to potentially have the chance to play in the QMJHL.”
“I grew up watching the Charlottetown Islanders play and to be able to play in that league would be a dream come true.”
“Hopefully the Q will be a stepping stone to a career in hockey,” said Coughlin.