A Different Route

From the Wildcat that no one talked about or knew, to a key defensive contributor and the heart and soul of the backend. Hugo Marcil’s rookie campaign was definitely a whirlwind.

In November, I wrote the following, Who is Hugo Marcil and where did he come from? That’s a great question, I haven’t got the slightest clue. I don’t know his back story at all, I’m sure it’s very intriguing and has a lot to do about size or lack there of, or being too small to have an impact, but this kid is playing extremely well paired with highly touted 2023 NHL Draft prospect Etienne Morin.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis

Here’s the rest of the story,

From Bourget, Ontario to the bright lights of the QMJHL, the Moncton Wildcats and beyond.

Hugo Marcil’s story is one of perseverance, unwavering passion, confidence and support. You see the road less travelled is often the most rewarding in the end.

CE: The road less travelled, discuss how you got here and who helped you out the most to get you to this point of your career?

HM: “First person would have to be Charlie Lavigne, since U18 he’s been there for me, and has really helped my progress from a defensive perspective with the help of Jeff Fox.”

“Charlie pushed my name to Dan(Lacroix) here, and that’s how I got a shot an invite.”

“Everything was so unsure at the beginning, I didn’t know if I was even going to have a spot at training camp.”

“From there it went from, you’re invited, I received a call from Ritchie Thibeau and Rick Melanson and from there it was just ok, come here and take it one day at a time and see where it goes.”

CE: Did you ever think that you would get the opportunity to play at the QMJHL level after playing Jr A with a very good organization like Rockland and have this much success this quickly?

HM: “No.”

“I always tried to put myself in the best possible position and come to the rink prepared and want to learn, but I never had, you know I was always like an under the radar type of player.”

“It was like get here, do my stuff, play my game, if it works it works and just go with the flow basically.”

CE: How did you take advantage of the opportunity you were given here in Moncton and how did you get better every day?

HM: “I think it more about the preparation in the summer. My trainer and I were really focused, we knew we had a chance to come to Moncton so I really pushed myself so when I arrived here I would be ready for it.”

“From that point I was able to do all of the little things the coaching staff wanted me to do.”

CE: Obviously, pretty exciting times for you coming in as a rookie and playing so well, playing big minutes and contributing, but where do you see yourself fitting in next season with the Cats?

HM: “Next year for sure I want to be part of the leadership core with the team, as a 19 year old with the 16’s coming in I have show the example, and try to be louder, on the bench and on the ice and in the room.”

“Every little kids dreams to play at this level so the biggest thing next year is trying to make a big impact on my game and come back as a better player.”

“With Hammer( Anthony Hamel) leaving, I have to be more physical, you know he’s a great role model, you know I have to try to get in those shoes or skates so to speak, so that’s definitely going to be a goal of mine for next year.”

CE: Earlier this year I had the opportunity to meet your mom and grandfather, discuss their impact from supporting you and all of the sacrifices they have made to get you to this point?

HM: “It’s crazy really, from all my family from my mom to my dad the way they have pushed me, nothing big or overwhelming, but I know they are there for me kind of like a safety net, but they also let me go and experience things on my own.”

“I have a tremendously awesome family which is really great.”

CE: What did you learn about yourself as a player and person this season?

HM: “It’s all in your head, it’s all about confidence to, coming in I was so scared seeing of guys that were there last year or have already played in the league, so you are kind of like down on yourself, then after they tell you that you have made the team it’s like you get bigger, or more self-confident.”

“Right now, it’s like I’m part of this, and I’m confident and this what I have to bring to the team, but just being more confident.”

You don’t have to spend that much time around Hugo Marcil to see just how passionate he is about the game, his teammates and life in general.

Marcil is a heart and soul player and person who wears his heart on his sleeve. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see this small town kid having so much success. His character, passion and integrity speak for itself.

Hugo Marcil may have flown under the radar for a long time and has perhaps taken an unconventional path to reach his hockey dream, but the value of hard work, dedication and drive will never be lost on him.

Hugo Marcil is the type of kid and player that will accomplish just about anything he sets his mind to.

He may have taken a different route than others, but it’s his and you can tell he wouldn’t want to change it for the world.

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