The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs proudly announce that Erik Ouellette has committed to the College of the Holy Cross and will play his college hockey for the Crusaders. Ouellette was a major contributor to this years team and the early success that they have enjoyed in the Eastern Hockey League. He is a big blue-liner with great offensive ability, a cool calm demeanor on and off of the ice, and he has great ability to run a very effective power play.
Coach Frew had this to say about his most recent Division I player headed off to college, “Erik is an exceptional player. He has finesse and offensive ability that you don't see in too many defenders of his size and stature. When we lost him to injury, it took a big piece out of us on the power-play because he can do some things out there that other guys just don't do as easily. He finds shooting lanes to the net through traffic, moves well, rarely gets shots blocked and he has a great stick. He also defends very well with his long reach, he is a great containment guy. I am very impressed with him as a young man, he is well spoken and is a great teammate. He's very well liked in our room. We have a great culture here in this organization, Eric embraced that and excelled in it.”
Ouellette had this to say about his commitment, “Both of my parents, as well as my grandfather and great grandfather, attended Holy Cross...I realized what Holy Cross could offer me both academically and as a Division I hockey program. When I heard from Coach Pearl that they had interest in me playing for them, I knew right away that it would be the perfect place for me to end up. This definitely ranks right up there as one of my best life accomplishments. It's been my goal for several years now to be able to earn an opportunity at playing Division 1 hockey, and being able to make that happen feels pretty stellar.”
Erik had kind words about the Jr. Monarchs program that helped deliver him to Holy Cross, “The Monarchs have done a very good job of preparing me for college hockey both on and off the ice. The coaches are great at teaching team and game concepts while also still working on individual skill development. They definitely help us, as players, understand exactly what it will take to succeed not only at the Junior level but also at the collegiate level. The special aspect of the Monarchs is the family environment. Whether its the players on any of the teams, the coaches, or the 'Narchs alumni that come out to practice with us, everyone just seems to create a great program atmosphere. It really makes it easy for anyone to come in and thrive within the program.”
Coach Frew added, “Erik came in here as an impact guy right away. Coach Golden and I agreed early on that this kid was a Division I player and, and Frank did a great job tweaking his game to make him a more effective player. When you say that a kid has earned his chance...this is one of those kids. He worked hard for this, he will excel both in the classroom and on the rink, we know he is going to make us proud. He is prepared and ready for this next step and its a great fit.”
The soft spoken kid from Colorado spoke highly of his staff, “Playing for Coach Golden has been great for my personal development. Coach Golden is a wizard when it comes to explaining and understanding game systems and he has a lot to teach in that aspect of the game. He also knows his personnel well, and played me in situations that he had confidence I could succeed in, which was great for my game. He can be hard and demanding on his players at times, but it's only because he expects the best from his players. As a Head Coach, Coach Frew does a great job of knowing when to be real hard or relaxed with his team. He always expects maximum effort and focus, but he understands that sometimes the key to good hockey is making sure the teams mood is light and relaxed at times. This makes it easy for us as players to enjoy playing the game, and that translates to on-ice success. The best part about playing for these coaches is the effort they put into contacting and talking with coaches and scouts at the collegiate level. These guys are always working to ensure every player has the best opportunities possible to play hockey in the future. When you see this type of dedication out of your coaches, it gives you just another reason to perform your very best for them and their program.”
He continued with the ultimate compliment to any program, “I think sometimes at the junior level players become too focused on individual promotion, and the team aspect falters. But with this team, the guys have really bought into what the coaches are teaching and the team has gelled well, which has translated into a lot of success on the ice. And in the end, team success is the best thing for individual promotion anyways.”
Erik is the son of Tom and Clare, and has a brother Andrew all of whom the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs would like to say congratulations to, and a job well done. Its hard to do anything very well in life without the support of friends and especially your family.
Erik said it was very important to point that out, ”I obviously have to thank my parents the most, because without their support, I never would have been able to chase my dream like this. None of this would have been possible, and I can't thank them enough for what they've put into this for me throughout the years.”
The list is growing for college placements on this years Eastern Hockey League team. The commits are piling up not only at the Division I level, but at some exceptional D-III programs as well. Each placement is just as special as the last, and the next one will be equally as special. These players put in a lot of time, effort and energy to realize their dreams and it is rewarding for everyone involved when they finally do. This is a special place to play. It always has been and always will be...yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)