RHP thinks it’s ready for ‘next level’

Laval – “Bright Future”. In unison, that’s what was predicted for Raphael Harvey Benard on Thursday during the Rocket season finale report.

The Saguena youngster has clearly made a strong impression in his second season in MLS. He was identified as a mentor by young Joshua Roy and Xavier Simono at Canadian junior camp in September, and went on to earn the respect of veterans he rubbed shoulders with at Laval.

Named one of Captain Xavier Ouellet’s assistants by coach Jean-François Houle at the start of the campaign, the man nicknamed “HP” by his teammates has forged his identity as captain as well as establishing himself as one of the most important contributors through his performances on the ice. He finished the year first in the team’s scoring with 56 points in 69 matches.

“He has such Promising future Before him, Jean-Sebastien Dia noted in the Petit Bellevue language. Off the ice, he’s very energetic, always smiling in the ring. These are the type of players you want to surround yourself with and grow with in your career. I think there are great things coming for him. »

“He came every day and was always having fun,” said Danic Martel, a roommate on the road. Just a good guy, the kind you want on your team. They gave it an ‘A’ at the beginning of the year and it’s not for nothing. He works hard, and his work ethic is perfect. Being there to supervise a young man like him is wonderful. »

Hall also won the merits of his number 11. He could have spent the afternoon scoring it. “I found it faster than it was at the beginning of the year. I found that his throw improved greatly,” he introduced spontaneously. But what particularly attracted him was that they were pampered, cared for carefully, and treated with due diligence of the highest order.

“He is a dedicated player, studying Game. It doesn’t happen by chance with Raphael. He is doing the work to improve and I think he has a great future ahead of him,” the coach, in turn, predicted.

And Harvey Benard, what will he remember from his season? First, it was long. His first professional decline has been reduced to 36 games due to health restrictions linked to COVID-19. Under His Skates in 2021-2022 was followed by a season of 69 games and an additional fifteen games. Through it all, he’s had a four-game coaching run, his first in the NHL.

“It allowed me to see the difficulty of the calendar, he welcomes in hindsight. It’s a busy schedule, we play a lot of matches. You don’t necessarily get used to it in the juniors. There I can learn a lot. After that, he made a long lead in the playoffs, with the support of the veterans and all the What they showed us, it was profitable. By rubbing shoulders with the NHL pros, you can certainly learn just by watching them. I think overall it has been a huge learning year for me.”

A place in Montreal

Not everything was rosy either. Some will say a good thing, because according to proven accounts dating back to time immemorial, one is often in a better position to take two steps forward after taking one step back.

Harvey Benard’s modest setbacks came to two false starts. The first, at sunset of the season, yielded only one goal harvest in his first 13 games. The second saw him start the playoffs after a drought of nine games.

Each time, things have been brought back together and today, the 23-year-old forward counts these little fouls as another tool in his box.

“Having those moments on a professional level isn’t always easy, but when you can beat them I think it’s good for the future. You’ll live again later in your career, there are always ups and downs, but to get out of it itself, I think it’s a testament to the Perseverance. What we can take away from that is just to never stop playing the way you’re supposed to, to preserve your identity. Even when there are more difficult times, keep working, give you 100%. Once you open it, it’s gone forever.”

All of these valuable lessons learned over the past few months, Harvey-Pinard will bear in mind throughout the summer in preparation for what he considers to be an important test in the fall. He says it forcefully, with a caution that one feels much more motivated by clarity than by any fear of failure, but says it anyway.

He wants to play for the Canadians full time next season.

“I haven’t thought much other than qualifying recently, but I definitely know what I want next year. I want to make my place in Montreal. That will be my goal and I will work hard this summer to achieve it.”



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