NHL Draft | The great decisions of David Goyette

David Goyette has never hesitated to make big decisions to achieve his goals.

Posted at 5:00 am

Katherine Harvey Pinard

Katherine Harvey Pinard

After leaving Quebec for Hawkesbury at 13, playing in the United States at 15 and heading to Sudbury at 17, the Saint-Jérôme native will soon see his “years of work” rewarded as he could be selected in the first round of the NHL draft.

He himself describes his career as “particular”.

Goyette first moved to Hawkesbury, Ontario with her family when she was 13 years old. “It was to learn English and play in Ontario,” she says over the phone. We found a nice house by the water. »

He never regretted it. Because his main target was never the biggest junior in Quebec. Goyette wanted to play in the NCAA.

“For me and my parents, school has always come first,” explains the central player. It was very important in my family. I always told myself that if it didn’t work out in hockey, I was going to have a plan B with the school. »

After a season of 94 points in 30 games in the under-15s, in the AAA, in 2018-2019, Goyette wanted to “live the experience of being in a bedroom, like in the NCAA.” He then headed to Connecticut, USA, where he joined the Selects Academy at South Kent School.

The first few months required adjustments, of course. But you have to believe that he did pretty well, as he racked up a total of…153 points, including 49 goals, in 65 games that year.

Change of plans

At the time, Goyette still had NCAA play on his mind. He also received a scholarship offer to Boston University.

If the path he wanted to take had always been very clear in Goyette’s head, it became a little less clear during a visit to the University of Massachusetts…

“When I went there, my parents and I sat in the coach’s office and he told my dad that if I were his son he would send me to the OHL because my game was a good game for him in this league. He said that he was going to be able to get to the next level faster than most NCAA players. »

Difficult to do better in terms of transparency. “We thought it was good that he told us that, but still he shook us up and changed our plans,” explains the fast forward.

So much so that he finally opted for the Ontario circuit. He was selected in the first round, 11me overall, by the Sudbury Wolves in the 2020 draft.

“I had laid down my cards a bit to land in Wolves because I have family there,” he says. Talking to the team, I thought it was a good fit. »

At the moment, my host family is my mother’s cousin. She helped me get familiar with the place.

david goyette

Goyette was supposed to play his first season as a junior in 2020-2021, but the pandemic thwarted his plans. Therefore, he trained in a gym created from scratch in the garage of the family home.

He also played a few games for the PAL Junior Islanders of the National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) in Tampa, but a team complained about his OHL contract after he scored six points in four games. So he returned to Hawkesbury, where he made 10 appearances for the local Junior A team.

No regrets

Goyette posted 73 points in 66 games in his first season with the Wolves this year. At mid-season, NHL Central Scouting ranked him 35thme stepping stone among American skaters. It must be said that the bye year in the OHL “didn’t do him any good”, while the QMJHL and WHL hopefuls continued to play.

Of course, it took me longer to find my game. But when I found her, I began to play with confidence. I moved up the rankings and felt good.

david goyette

In its latest list, the Centrale places David Goyette in 13th placeme range.

For July 7, the young man has certain expectations. He would like to hear his name in the top 20 or 25, ideally. Several members of his family and friends who are still in Quebec will be present at the Bell Center.

“I can’t wait to get to training camp to see where I stand,” he says. I’m sure I’m going to spend the summer of my life, training every day to arrive as prepared as possible. You never know if you might cause a surprise at camp. »

Whatever happens, Goyette will never regret the big decisions he’s made over the years, including opting for the OHL over the NCAA.

“Of course my trip has been special, and sometimes after bad news, we wondered: did we make the right decision? Was that really what was good for me?

“Today I look at it and I am very proud of what my family and I have done. It was years and years of work. I will be very happy when I hear my name. »

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