MONTREAL – A day afterwards the AHL appear it was blame aback its acting alpha date for the 2020-21 division to February, Laval Rocket arch drillmaster Joël Bouchard took to Zoom to accord his acknowledgment and to altercate some of the organization’s affairs with the media on Friday.
Read on for highlights of what he had to say.
On the advantages of accepting a set alpha date for the season, about acting it may be:
“If it started tomorrow, I’d be ready. For sure, it helps us authorize a assertive plan, but alike if we didn’t accept a date, it doesn’t change my job. Behindhand of the agenda or the realities for the NHL, I’ll consistently be accessible for aback we get the “go,” behindhand of the conditions.”
On what he expects his players to be accomplishing to adapt for an closing return:
“I’m an optimistic guy, we’re activity to be arena hockey afresh at some point. It’s adamantine appropriate now, but we’re all in the aforementioned situation. But while we wait, my bulletin is the following: ‘What are you activity to do, as a hockey player, to be altered aback you appear back?’ We can’t delay about after accomplishing anything, because there will consistently be addition abroad accomplishing pushups appropriate now and he wants to booty your spot. You accept to use that time to become better, assignment on your weaknesses. During any abeyance in play, whether it be a lockout or an injury, the ones who are bent and who put in the added accomplishment consistently appear aback better.”
Video: Joël Bouchard on the delayed alpha to the AHL season
On defenseman Noah Juulsen, who had suffered a alternation of abrasion setbacks afore authoritative a acknowledgment aloof above-mentioned to the pandemic:
“He’s addition I’m actual amorous about. He’s apparent so abundant determination. I apperceive his name has gotten a bit lost, but it hasn’t been accessible for him. Suffering from migraines is hard, but he’s assuredly been able to move on. He played a bold with us afore the pause, and he was excellent. Among all the times he’s approved to accomplish a comeback, that was his best bold in two years. He was the Noah Juulsen I know. I was at the Apple Junior Championship with him, and I assuredly got to see the aforementioned defenseman again. All my conversations with him accept been positives, because this affliction is abaft him. He’s healthy.”
On the accepted abyss on the Rocket and in the Canadiens organization:
“If you attending at what we accept appropriate now, our abyss is good. We accept some guys who accept spent some time with the Rocket, who feel like they accord to the team, and who accept what we appetite to do. I now accept to acquisition some abode for adolescent players like Jesse Ylonen, Joel Teasdale, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, and Josh Brook, because we additionally accept guys like Laurent Dauphin, Yannick Veilleux, Lukas Vejdemo, Joseph Blandisi, and Jake Lucchini who are added accomplished and who additionally appetite ice time. It’s a acceptable challenge, and that’s my job. But what excites me the best is that I absolutely like the abeyant of my adolescent players. I accept to acquisition the best way of alive with them and giving them some mileage. That’s area accepting guys like Kevin Lynch, Xavier Ouellet, and Gustav Olofsson, acceptable veterans and acceptable bodies who accept how things work, is priceless.”
On area he thinks Ryan Poehling is at in his progression:
When you appear from the NCAA akin or Junior – or any akin that’s beneath pro hockey – as a adolescent man, the acclimation you will charge to accomplish to your bold is sometimes obvious, and sometimes it’s subtle. In the case of Ryan, there were attenuate things in his bold that he needs to adjust. After accepting into too abounding specifics, those subtleties in Junior hockey or the NCAA don’t get apparent that much. But aback you comedy with the best players in the world, again those subtleties all of a abrupt become a little added magnified. I consistently alarm it the Bambi aftereffect a little bit, area the adolescent Bambi that’s active abroad a little bit ability get bent up. In the case of Ryan, it’s no altered for him than every added adolescent player. He had such a high-performing aboriginal bold in the NHL. But I anticipate it was a absolutely acceptable acquirements experience; that affliction was absolutely acceptable for him, because he was absolute and he’s had a acceptable attitude.
On Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who played 13 amateur for the Rocket in 2019-20, and his achievement in the 2020 NHL playoffs:
“Like everybody else, I was absolutely impressed. I absolutely admired his mindset. I batten with him a few canicule afore it started in Montreal, and I anticipate his mindset was appropriate from the alpha – I anticipate the accomplished alignment saw that. He acquired acquaintance aftermost year, and he was ready. That’s what’s fun to see. I admired his assurance physically. I anticipation his ambit became absolutely accessible as a 200-foot centerman in the playoffs, on the big stage. Like everybody else, I was a fan of watching the amateur and I was actual aflame about KK, the way he absolutely adapted to the affliction of playoff hockey. It was fun to watch.”
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