Top News

Bonavista goalie finds home with junior A team in New Brunswick

Tristan Gray at the QMJHL team Shawinigan Cataractes’ training camp.
Tristan Gray at the QMJHL team Shawinigan Cataractes’ training camp.

CAMPBELLTON, N.B. — The past several weeks have been a whirlwind for 17-year-old Bonavista goaltender Tristan Gray, as he’s attended various hockey camp tryouts. 

Gray with the junior A team, the Campbellton Tigers.

In fact, he barely had enough time home to do laundry and pack up again before settling at the junior A team Campbellton Tigers for his senior year of high school.

This offseason, Gray had the opportunity he’s always wanted when he found himself at the training camp for the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) towards the end of August.

Gray told The Packet the level of talent was eye-opening. He says in the first two days of camp there were no returning players, but they still had such a high skill level. And once the higher ranked prospects showed up, he says it was often “bar down” for every shot he didn’t touch.

“You could tell you weren’t playing back home anymore,” said Gray. “I feel I adjusted pretty easily and well.”

He says he got to play against and observe some elite prospects like defenceman Samuel Girard.

Even against such competition, Gray was able to make it to the final round of cuts for the team. After falling just short, Gray then moved to the Maritime Hockey League Junior A League team the Campbellton Tigers in New Brunswick. They drafted him in June in the fifth round, 56th overall.

Shawinigan told him he could be considered an affiliate for the team, and because of Campbellton’s close proximity to Quebec, there’s a possibility for a “call-up” during the season, if needed.

Now that’s he made the team in Campbellton, he’s looking forward to playing for his new club. He says the junior A camp was also extremely high quality hockey.

“It’s going pretty good,” said Gray. “The team is pretty big here; the community supports the team a lot and a lot of people come out to the games.”

And off the ice, he says, while it’s disappointing to finish his final year of high school away from Discovery Collegiate, he hopes to return for the graduation ceremony towards the end of the school year.

“It’s kind of sad not to go to school and see the same faces I’ve been coming up through since kindergarten (with). I found it hard that way but after the season finishes here … I will be going home and graduating from Discovery.”

While he has yet to get a start with his new club, Gray expects to be getting his fair share of time in the future.

“The coach said from the get-go, ‘both of you guys will be playing games for sure, but there’s no designated starter or backup. It’s 50-50, you earn your wins.’”

It’s a challenge he’s certainly prepared for, as Gray has strived to play on the highest level possible.

“It’s why I tried to move on as far as have while playing in Newfoundland.

“This is what I want and I enjoy it up here.”

 

jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca

Twitter: @jejparsons 

Latest News