HOCKEY. After concluding his junior career last May, Drummondville resident Simon Pinard will continue his career with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Reds hockey team next September.
The team announced the recruitment of Pinard and Benjamin Corbeil on July 27. For Pinard, the reflection was not too long. He still cherishes the dream of playing in the professional ranks, the UNB program offers him the best chance of getting there.
“I believe it is the best Canadian university program. When we look at the numbers, we see that this is a team that is competitive year after year. Then, after the university course, it is one of the best teams to place its players at the professional level. I see it as an opportunity to continue to play hockey while continuing my studies in a very good school, “explained Pinard from the outset during a telephone interview.
As for studies, the 21-year-old striker will first integrate a general program; the educational path being different in New Brunswick. Regarding the rest, he hesitates between specializations in criminology or business for the rest of his courses, in English, when the time comes.
With the Reds, Pinard has no intention of changing the type of player he is. He intends to remain a player who uses his speed, who recovers pucks in the corners of the ice and who accumulates points on offense.
“I want to have an impact with the team from the start, but it’s never something that is taken for granted. You have to perform to deserve it. I want to bring offense, be used in all game situations and be responsible defensively. I don’t want to change the things that brought me where I am,” said the native of Drummondville.
With his new team, the left-winger will play under coach Gardiner MacDougall, who recently won the Memorial Cup with the St John Sea Dogs in an interim role. The opportunity to play for a man who has a reputation as a winner and who knows how to get the best out of his players immediately appealed to the Drummondvillois.
“We have spoken a few times since last January. He is a passionate trainer; I had very good comments on him. I think winning the Memorial Cup says a lot about him,” said Pinard, who had settled on UNB before MacDougall won the Memorial Cup.
ICYMI: Ben Corbeil and Simon Pinard to join UNB REDS Hockey in the fall.
•Ben Corbeil (@QMJHL) 34G, 34A 68 pts in 68 games‼️
• Simon Pinard (@QMJHL) 44 G, 47 A 91 pts in 67 games‼️
Is it September yet? pic.twitter.com/gKzw66125b
—UNB Men’s Hockey (@UNBMHockey) July 27, 2022
Although he is committed to the university program, Simon Pinard does not close the door to signing a professional contract before the start of the next season. An invitation to participate in a rookie camp of a national league team could always be sent to him.
“A lot of things can still happen. There will be recruit camps in September. I think I might get an invite from a team. Everything is possible then,” launched the former Olympique de Gatineau.
In addition, Simon Pinard does not hide the fact that he has received professional contract offers recently. However, he does not absolutely want to sign a professional contract. If he were to agree with a professional team, he wishes it was for the right reasons.
“I analyzed the offers I received and made comparisons. Currently, the ideal for me was to join UNB because it allows me to study and play hockey in an excellent program that could allow me to then play in the American Hockey League or in Europe, “said he said.
Simon Pinard has now completed his internship in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ). A new page was turned on his career when the Shawinigan Cataractes eliminated the Gatineau Olympiques in three games in the second round of the playoffs.
“It was a lot of disappointment. You work hard for four years to win a cup. And when it ends, it’s a little harder to realize it’s over. In the end, I think I have a bright future ahead of me and I had a lot of fun in Gatineau,” said Simon Pinard.
After four seasons on the Courteau circuit, the former 2018 Armada second-round pick will have fond memories of those formative years. “I have experienced things that I never thought I would experience one day. When I was young, major junior seemed unattainable. I managed to play there four good years and I went through hardships, like the death of my friend Alec Reid. I created beautiful friendships and I am very happy to have lived it, ”he recalled.
Simon Pinard will take New Brunswick Road in the last week of August. He is happy to join his new team along with his friend and former Armada teammate, Benjamin Corbeil. The two will live together in their first apartment, a new stage in their life as young adults. Until then, the Drummondvillois is working hard during his summer training.