Gelinas Just Focusing on the Game

He’s seventeen, but for Eric Gelinas, he’s one step away from big leagues. The defenseman of the Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) is eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.  The Draft will be in his hometown of Montreal in June.  “I know it’s my draft year, I’ve been working hard to get ready for this season,” said Gelinas.

Scouting Services have started to rank players for the upcoming Draft.  “I am not thinking about it during the season.  I want to focus on my season and not the scouts.”  His agent is keeping him informed on what NHL executives are thinking. “My agent has told me there’s a chance that I will be drafted.”

NHL teams and hockey fans are able to get to know Gelinas more as he’s a blogger.  Recently The Hockey News, a magazine publication, has asked the second year defenseman to write a blog on their website.  “Garrett (Mason), the guy that works out front (Public Relations & Group Tickets Director), said the Hockey News was looking for someone to make a blog.  He (Garrett Mason) asked if I was interested because it’s my draft year and to get exposure.”  Gelinas has never written a blog before.   “People will know what the Maineiacs are doing and what I am doing.”

It would be special at the Molson Center where his beloved Montreal Canadiens (Who are celebrating their 100-year-anniversary.) play would be special.  “I am pretty excited for sure.  I was pretty lucky, when the junior draft (2007 QMJHL Midget Draft) was held in Drummondville (Quebec),” said Gelinas with a smile on his face.  Drummondville is 75 minutes from Montreal.

How did Eric Gelinas get to this point?  On June 2nd, 2007, he found out where he would continue his dream.  The Lewiston Maineiacs used the 16h overall pick on the Montreal native in the QMJHL Midget Draft.  “My season (Before the Midget Draft) went well and a couple of people told me I had a chance to go high in the draft,” said Gelinas.
Not only was Gelinas leaving his family in Montreal, but he was heading to a new country and a new primary language.

The language barrier wasn’t a problem because he lived in Ottawa where English was spoken.  “I got use to the English fast because I lived in Ontario when I was young,” said Gelinas.

He knew he had to make the move to Lewiston.  “I left the house at sixteen-years-old so it was pretty fast for living on my own. It’s something I wanted to do and it was better for my hockey career.”   With a big life decision to move, no one really second guessed his decision.  “Before the (QMJHL) Draft, my dad told me this is what I wanted to do.”

In his rookie season he had three goals and nineteen assists in 54 games.  He also played in five of the six playoff games for the Maineiacs.  Thru October, 27th he has three goals and six assists in 17 games.

(Nathan also started “The World of Junior Hockey Blog” and is a contributor to the Maine Hockey Journal His email is fourniern@students.nescom.edu.)

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