BETTING À DAY
EDMONTON | First there was the playoffs with the Remparts, then the NHL draft and the development camp of the Anaheim Ducks, then, now, the World Junior Hockey Championship: Nathan Gaucher's summer of 2022 will have been anything but trivial. The Quebec Remparts forward has been busy for two months and participating in the World Juniors was not part of his initial plans.
“In my head, I'm was going to camp to make my place for the tournament next December. I knew I had done well during the summer camp in 2021 and I had left a good business card.
However, the many places left available by the withdrawal of nine members of the selection of last December allowed Gaucher to obtain confirmation, about two weeks ago.
« I had chills,” assured the first Quebecer drafted at the last NHL auction on July 7.
Shivers, he had others when he arrived in Edmonton and discovered the Junior Team Canada quarters, which use the Oilers locker room for the tournament.
“When we arrived, we [players who were not in the tournament in December] asked a lot of questions. It's impressive, the Oilers locker room, it's incredible. It's my first experience so it's sure that there was a little nervousness. The guys who were there in December told us it was normal to be. (Mason) McTavish is doing a good job as captain,” he added, touting his possible future teammate with the Anaheim Ducks.
ROLE TO GIVE ENERGY
One thing is certain, Gaucher will not be called upon to blacken the score sheet. At least not with points on the board. Used in the third unit in attack during Monday's preparatory match, to the right of Elliot Desnoyers and Will Cuylle, he will have a more defensive role with the national team. A mission tailor-made for him.
“My role will be to energize the team. With Elliot and Cuylle, we are big guys capable of skating. It will be a bonus if we can score, but it will not be my role. I want to help the team win a medal.” Moreover, for the moment, Gaucher will be called upon to evolve on the right wing of his trio, thus abandoning his natural position as center.
« Playing on the wing does not don't bother. I think the transition from center to wing is easier than the other way around. When there are face-offs to take on the right, I might go there too.