Labradorian hockey player to play first QMJHL game this weekend
© Labradorian file photo
Curtis Scales, a 16-year-old hockey player from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, will be making his Major Junior debut sometime this weekend
Ever since being drafted by the Gatineau Olympiques this past summer, Curtis Scales has been patiently waiting for his moment to play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Now, several months later, the 16-year-old winger from Happy Valley-Goose Bay will get his chance with the Charlottetown Islanders this weekend.
Scales was traded to Charlottetown by Gatineau earlier this week, along with a 1st round pick in 2014 and a 1st Round Pick 2015, for Alexis Pepin.
As soon as he was traded, Scales knew he would have a chance to play a meaningful role with the young Islanders team.
“I was overwhelmed, I didn't know what to think really,” said Scales when he found out that he will soon be making his Major Junior debut. “I was excited I couldn't stop moving.”
Islanders Head Coach, and former NHLer, Gordie Dwyer, fully expects Scales to be in his lineup Friday night or Sunday. Dwyer believes that the young Labradorian will fit nicely with the Islanders young roster.
“Well, we expect him to (be in the lineup). We obviously made a lot of moves and are going with a youth movement. And we expect to see him at some point this weekend for sure,” said Dwyer.
“He’s a good skater and he’s intense, that’s what we like about him. He’s got a chance to be a forward that brings that energy…”
After being drafted 134th overall by the Olympiques, Scales opted to play Junior A for the Hawkesbury Hawks in the CCHL this season. In 23 games, Scales scored one goal and two assists, but didn’t see a lot of ice time. Nonetheless, Scales views his time with the Hawks as being valuable to his hockey development.
“I loved it. I never played much but my coach made me better,” says Scales.
Gordie Dwyer watched Scales play while he was with the Hawks, and the coach was impressed by what he saw in the young forward.
“I’ve seen him play this year in Hawkesbury and feel that he’s a guy that got great up-side and got a great chance of being a Major Junior player,” said Dwyer. “For us, we feel, with our youth movement, Curtis is a guy who could…be an everyday player.”
“At the Junior A level…it’s an older league and to be a younger guy, especially early in your season…there’s a lot of learning going on. For the most part, I think Curtis has done a good job of fitting in at the junior level.”
Prior to being drafted, Scales spent two years at the Canadian International Hockey Academy, located 30 minutes outside of Ottawa. The academy provided him with both hockey training and academic teachings.
While attending the hockey academy he played in a AAA hockey league. During his time in Bantam and Midget, he amassed 59 goals and 32 assists in 80 games.
Off the ice, Scales has had some difficult times adjusting to life away from family and friends back home. But, through it all, the love of hockey has helped him push forward.
“I went through so much adversity with hockey and school this year,” said Scales. I need to do summer school, I had an inner ear infection and missed one month of everything.”
“Just the fact I wouldn't be able to do anything without hockey (kept me going).”
Scales is expected to fly to Charlottetown today to sign with the Islanders. The Labradorian will inform its readers on the date and time of Scales QMJHL debut when it becomes official.
For those who want to watch Scales in his first game with the Islanders, every game has a webcast on the QMJHL website.