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The past two months have been a learning curve for P.E.I. Rocket defensive-rookie Alexandre Chenier-Allard.
Chenier-Allard, who turned 17 in September, cracked the opening night line-up after attending his second training camp with the Rocket. He was a late cut in 2011.
The Chateauguay, Que. native was an 111th overall pick in the seventh round by the Rocket in the 2011 QMJHL Entry Draft. He did however see some ice-time last season shortly after Christmas, appearing in three regular season games. This season, he has become a full-time body on the blue-line appearing in 10 games so far this season, missing the first three games due to injury.
His season is going well so far, he said.
“I think I’m part of the team which is good.”
In 10 games so far this season, Chenier-Allard has a goal and four points. His first career goal came Friday Oct. 19, in a 5-0 win over the Moncton Wildcats.
Last season, Chenier-Allard played Midget Triple ‘A’ with the Chateauguay Grendiers. He had 11 goals for 25 points in 42 games.
The biggest difference between Midget and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is the speed, said Chenier-Allard.
“You got to be quick. The one or two seconds you have in midget, you do not have it here so you got to be quick on your play and look around you every time.”
Chenier-Allard describes himself as an offensive-defensemen.
“My job is to play two sides of the ice and everything should be good. Bring some offense on the powerplay. I can play in the defensive zone, I know I have to work on it, but its getting better.”
Rocket head coach Gordie Dwyer said Chenier-Allard has been the biggest surprise of the season.
“We didn’t know what to expect with Alex. We knew he had some talent but decided to play midget last year…He’s jumped right into our top-5. He’s been a great addition for us.”
Chenier-Allard jumps into the mix of rookies with the P.E.I. Rocket this season with second-overall pick, Alexis Pépin, Mark Trickett, Kevin Laliberte, Nathan Yetman and Daniel Perigo.
As a rookie in the team’s system, Dwyer said Chenier-Allard is a head of the curve.
“We expect him to be a really good defensemen in this league and in the future.”
Dwyer said Chenier-Allard is an A1 kid.
“He’s focused on his game and improving everyday to establish himself in the Q. You can see it both on and off the ice.”
Chenier-Allard and his P.E.I. Rocket currently sit sixth overall in the league with an 8-4-0-0 record. They are back in action Saturday night against the Sherbrooke Phoenix.
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