On the radar: A « bromance » in the service of the Voltigeurs

After having both experienced a great disappointment in December, Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Nicolas Beaudin are back in Drummondville

BOISBRIAND – Even if it didn’t end the way they wanted it to, the adventure of Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Nicolas Beaudin in Hockey Canada’s fold was at least the starting point for a great friendship.

Perhaps even the starting point for something much bigger, now that the two defenders are patrolling the blue line with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, a team that is looking for great honours in the QMJHL.

« We knew each other a little before we attended the Junior Team Canada summer camp in July, but no more than that, » said Beaudin, a first round pick from the Blackhawks (#27) in 2018. He’s such a good guy off the ice, it really clicked this summer. »

This bromance reached its peak on December 14 when the two Quebecers learned in the evening that their services had not been retained by the Canadian team for the World Junior Championship. Far from home in Victoria, they were able to rely on each other

After heading to a hotel near the airport for their flight the next morning, the two found themselves around a meal that included nothing too healthy. It was their version of the love-starved girl who eats ice cream directly from the jar.

« It was a little one-on-one time to eat our emotions, » Joseph said with a smile. It was a nice little evening after a difficult day. »

« We wanted to forget as soon as possible what had just happened, » said Beaudin. Both of us were struggling and we wanted to get over it, come back with our teams afterwards and lead them as far as we could in the playoffs. »

At that time, Joseph was still the captain of the Charlottetown Islanders. The Coyotes’ first round choice (No. 23) in 2017 suspected that he would change his address before the deadline, but he didn’t know he would find his good friend only a few days later.

Two days before Christmas, the news came in. Joseph joined the Voltigeurs and at the same time got the chance to finish his junior career on a winning note.

« We used to text each other a lot after we were cut off, we tried to be there for each other, » said the newcomer to the Voltigeurs. He was in Florida when he heard the news and we called right away. We were really happy to be able to play together in the second half of the season. »

Something to prove

With the acquisition of Joseph, a reliable defender with undeniable offensive qualities, the Voltigeurs have somehow added a second head to the monster Beaudin on the blue line. They now have two defenders on hand who can attack and drive a power play.

As a result, they have obtained a veteran who is used to long playoffs.

« We mostly wanted to bring in a horse to have two guys who can support our offensive trios, » said coach Steve Hartley. The element I discovered in the first few weeks was the responsible aspect it brings to defensiveness.

« Since he arrived, what strikes me most is his leadership. After meeting him, I understand why he is a first round choice and why the Islanders were successful in the playoffs. All this experience will help us in the second half. »

In addition to all the talent he has at his disposal, Hartley now has a considerable amount of uncertainty as the last stretch of the season begins. Beaudin and Joseph both intend to take the law into their own hands by helping the Voltigeurs achieve their goal.

« Both of us are motivated and really want to prove that we belonged there, » said Beaudin. That is a thing of the past. There is nothing we can do now, except show them that they were wrong with our game on the ice. We’re trying to give it all away on the ice and we want to take this team as far as possible. »

In the notebook

  • Traded for the second time this season, this time in the OHL, Nick Suzuki (#13 – 2017) seems to be adjusting very well to his new environment with the Guelph Storm. The Canadians’ hope scored one goal and seven assists in his first three games with his new team, giving him 23 goals and 30 assists in 33 games.
  • The arrival of the new year may have marked a turning point in the season of striker Julien Gauthier (no. 21 – 2016). The Hurricanes’ hopeful scored five goals and two assists in his first five games of 2019 and scored 15 shots on penalties. Before that sequence, he had been cleared in eight games and scored seven goals and eight assists in 35 games.

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