EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) is suiting very well to Jérémie Thibodeau, defenseman of the Edmundston Blizzard.
Recalled by the big team for three games of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens on New Brunswick soil this past weekend, Thibodeau was treated with three victories!
And it didn’t take him long to get noticed in the first period of his first career QMJHL game on Friday at the Avenir Centre against the Moncton Wildcats. He got an assist on Matej Kaslik’s goal at 16:03. Wearing number 23 with the Saguenéens, he helped his new teammates to a 6-4 win. Then, on Saturday in Saint John, he saw the Saguenéens beat the Sea Dogs 4 to 2. And on Sunday, he contributed to a perfect weekend for Chicoutimi who edged the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, 5 to 2. And all this in front of his mother, his father, his brother, a friend of his father and his agent.
The Saguenéens’ 4th round pick (74th overall) in the 2020 QMJHL draft, Jérémie Thibodeau had time to prepare for his first strides on the ice in the Courteau’ league.
“I got a call from Saguenéens head coach Yanick Jean last week when the Blizzard was preparing for their trip to Campbellton (Sunday, November 7),” said the 17-year-old Saint-Léonard defenseman.
“It was really a great experience for me, a dream to play in the major junior. I was not used much but the more the weekend progressed, I felt that my coaches trusted me furthermore”, confided Thibodeau who was paired most of the time with defenseman Jonathan Desrosiers who donned the Blizzard’s uniform last season.
At 6’2’’, Thibodeau was the second tallest defenseman in the Sagueneens roster. And Jeremy thinks he really impressed the Chicoutimi staff. “Yanick Jean told me that I was absolutely ready to compete in the league and he thinks I have improved a lot, with more maturity since training camp in early fall.”
The grade 12 student at the école Grande-Rivière in Saint-Léonard indicated that Yanick Jean would have liked to be able to count on him for the next Sags games (8-7-0-3). “I told him it wasn’t working for me because of my high school education. But after the holidays, they would like to use me often up to the affiliate player limit which is 10 games,” he explained.
Three games in the QMJHL are enough to make some comparisons. “I don’t find the game in the QMJHL to be faster than the MHL, but the decisions of the players are. The game unfolds in a smarter way and the talent of the players stands out more,” said Thibodeau.
The Blizzard can count on the return of Jérémie Thibodeau at defense in Edmundston’s next game on Thursday night (7:30 pm) at the Jean-Daigle Centre against the South Shore Lumberjacks.
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Jérémie Thibodeau (23) hooks forward Francis Langlois (16) of the Moncton Wildcats during the Friday, November 12 game played at the Avenir Centre in Moncton. Photo special contribution by Normand Léger
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone