Disillusioned, Miguël Tourigny did not want to know anything about the 2022 draft
BROSSARD – Miguël Tourigny had been so disillusioned over the previous two years that there was no way he wasted a single second of Friday even thinking about the NHL Draft.
“I wasn’t even going to take a look. It was a beautiful sunny day. I had a good time with my family and my friends,” said the young defender, as part of his participation in the development camp of the Montreal Canadiens.
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Tourigny had even passed the message to his adviser that he would not go to the stands of the Bell Center at any price, even with the assurance that a team would select him.
“There was no chance that I would come there after the bitter disappointment of the past two years. It affected me psychologically. This year, I told myself that if I received a call, well that I would answer. »
The call came from a friend, in “Facetime”. He showed him a picture of the giant board with his name listed alongside the Canadiens logo.
« My initial reaction was one of surprise, then I burst into joy, » said the 20-year-old Victoriaville native defender.
Tourigny did well not to impose on himself the torture again. The wait would have been endless in the stands. The CH called his name just before the end of the seventh (and last) round, at 216th level.
“It’s only a number, made there, minimized Tourigny. First or last round, I just want to prove myself. »
At 5 feet 8 inches and 168 pounds, the young man knows he is starting from afar. In the junior ranks, his small size is not a great handicap: he totaled 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists) in 35 games in the uniform of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Major Junior Hockey League of Quebec last season.
« I don’t look like a 20-year-old guy, but I don’t stop there, » he said. I mind my own business, not other people’s.
“My goal in development camp is to get a contract from the Canadiens and make the jump to the American League next season,” he said while displaying his colors.
Co-director of player development Francis Bouillon said he’s impressed with what he sees of Tourigny and fellow small defender Lane Hutson, who was a second-round pick this year (62nd).
“They are ultra-mobile defenders. To make the leap into the professional ranks, they must learn to contain big attackers by advocating a more physical style,” said Bouillon, who himself had to fight prejudice in order to make his place in the NHL. “The good thing about similar camps is that we can show them how to become pros. »
Bouillon described the current crop of hopefuls at the camp as the strongest since he has been in office.
“The future will tell if we made several good choices with all these young people, but I am really impressed. »
For the second day in a row, the youngsters were subjected to very intense three-on-three and four-on-four exercises in one zone.
« It’s very different from other years, » said Bouillon. Previously, there was more intra-squad play. Now we focus on teaching and learning. The emphasis is on individual battles and positioning. »
No question of being behind the bench
Bouillon has also indicated that he does not wish to replace Luke Richardson as assistant to Martin St-Louis behind the Habs bench. Richardson recently accepted the position of coach of the Chicago Blackhawks.
« Not at all, » he answered the question. “I would have had the chance to replace Alexandre Burrows with Joël Bouchard at the Laval Rocket a few years ago, and I didn’t take it. I was not ready for that and currently I am doing well in my tasks. So it’s no…”