There’s nothing like a great comeback story, especially when it happens to amazingly strong and deserving players and people.
Jacob Melanson never gave up on his hockey dreams.
In the darkest hours of his career, Melanson’s personal belief in his talents and ability never wavered.
The Amherst, Nova Scotia product bet on himself when all the odds were against him.
Melanson’s determination and relentless drive certainly have NHL scouts and organizations taking notice.
Melanson has faced his fair share of adversity over the past two seasons. Adversity or just horrible luck.
The 18-year-old forward had two shoulder injuries in as many seasons, but definitely proved he could be an impact player at the QMJHL level this with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan this season.
Skill, scoring touch, speed, grit and great hockey sense, Melanson has it all. The former 1st round pick (15th overall in 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft) of the Quebec Remparts certainly excelled with the Titan after being acquired during this season’s trade period. He plays on the edge and creates time and space for his line mates while generating offensive opportunities for himself by going to all of the dirty areas of the ice.
Relentlessness and resiliency , two characters he definitely learned from the rock of his life, his mother, Jennifer Hayden Easterbrooks.
“My mother is the biggest role model in my life,” Melanson said proudly.
“I’ve seen her overcome more things that I have experienced, so that motivated me to overcome my injuries and be a better person by seeing what she does everyday for me.”
In 18 games with the Titan this season the gritty skilled right winger had eight goals and 11 assists. In 5 playoff games he added two goals and one assist. At 5’11, 200 pounds, Melanson has a good frame and stature to be an effective energy and two-way winger at the next level. He has a great release, solid puck skills in traffic and is an underrated passer. He will have to continue to get stronger through his upper body to ensure he can compete and win 50/50 puck battles at the pro level. His instincts and will to compete definitely separate him from other players his age. Melanson’s perseverance and persistence is truly unparalleled and has the scouting fraternity a buzz.
“I’ve overcome a lot of things,” admitted Melanson.
“It’s been pretty tough.”
“Overcoming two shoulder injuries in back to back years was tough.”
“I kind of had to catch up to the bus, when you are coming back like that.”
“I think going to Bathurst was the best place to be and I think I’ve shown myself very well with the Titan.”
Melanson understands the opportunity that’s in front of him after generating buzz within the NHL scouting world this season. With the 2021 NHL Entry Draft mire weeks away, Melanson is trying to take everything in stride while working out with Ryan Reynolds in the gym and on the ice at Derek Cormier’s Pro Evolution Hockey during the summer months.
“It’s very exciting coming up to the draft, but also it’s a small step in my future, so I just have to keep pushing and hopefully things will come,” stressed Melanson.
This is Melanson’s first experience at PEH and he likes what he has seen so far.
“It’s a great camp, Derek runs a great program, I’m really happy to be here and be part of it.”
“The Uniplex is a great facility and it’s great to have games during the summer months to keep you in game mode, so it’s been great.”
Melanson’s goals and aspirations for the up coming season are extremely clear even though the excitement of the NHL Draft looms.
“We have a very strong team, so hopefully we can make it to the finals and win the league this year.”
“Personally, I would like to be a point a game player and build on last seasons success.”
In the darkest hours of his career, Jacob Melanson never stopped working, never stopped dreaming of one day skating at hockey’s highest level. That dream is within reach. They say you can learn a lot about a person and their character during their lowest point or toughest times. Jacob Melanson is relentless and perhaps that’s his greatest characteristic and skill. Relentless and resilient, that’s Jacob Melanson, the gritty skilled two-way forward and potential 2021 NHL draft pick.