A Player To Watch: Loic Nadeau

Goaltenders come in all shapes and sizes. Ask anyone and they will say size definitely matters these days when it comes to playing in the blue paint.

6”2 or taller is the prerequisite for the NHL, but there have been some incredibly gifted netminders that have gone on to have tremendous hockey careers that are a lot smaller than that across the hockey world.

Loic Nadeau is trying to prove all the critics wrong when it comes to playing between the pipes as he forges his own path in the game.

Photo Credit Moncton Thunderbirds

The Moncton Thunderbirds rookie backstop has got off to a solid start this season in his first foray at the U-16 level.

The young ultra competitive and athletic netminder has also recorded a victory with the Moncton U-18 Major AAA Flyers.

You see if you look at the stat sheet or team roster, some would be quick to dismiss a goaltender of Nadeau’s stature.

“Oh he’s too small to play in the QMJHL or beyond.”

To be brutally honest I’m really sick and tired of hearing that.

Many diminutive backstops have led their QMJHL, CHL and MHL teams to the promise land or junior hockey supremacy. The history books are full of stories of goaltenders that have defied the odds and have over come their perceived lack of size to achieve greatness.

Those goaltenders and Loic Nadeau all have something in common.

They all possess character, quickness and unrelenting determination and the will to compete.

Photo Credit Moncton Thunderbirds

Those attributes can take you a long way in the game

Obviously, it’s very early on in Nadeau’s career, but the foundation is firmly in place. All the pieces are there. His compete level, confidence and poise in the paint is something to be reckoned with.

His sheer athleticism enables him to make outstanding saves, but his understanding of the position and technique are undoubtedly his strongest attributes.

He challenges the shooter at every opportunity, is extremely square, has a very quick glove hand and solid rebound control.

Of course he will have to continue refine certain aspects of his game to continue to excel at the next level.

Player comparisons are difficult and sometimes extremely unfair to make considering young players.

There’s one comparison that has to be mentioned when you look at Loic Nadeau’s overall game, technique skill set and movement between the pipes.

Nadeau plays a similar style to that of former QMJHL and current AUS goaltender Blade Mann-Dixon.

Mann-Dixon made everything look easy, with tremendous athleticism and technique. At 5”7 Blade Mann-Dixon proved all you need to win in the QMJHL and beyond is talent not size. Loic Nadeau possesses that same potential and that should never be overlooked due to his stature.

Goaltenders come in all shapes and sizes. Ask anyone and they will say size definitely matters these days when it comes to playing in the blue paint.

They don’t say that when they see Loic Nadeau and other ultra athletic diminutive goaltenders play the game and battle between the pipes.

Beware of the diminutive goaltender, they might prove you right or prove you wrong.

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