By Kyle Shohara
As names were being called inside First Niagara Center in Buffalo on the second day of the 2016 NHL Draft, a phone went off approximately 500 miles away in the city of Drummondville, Quebec. Alex Dostie, a draft-eligible center who just finished his third season with the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, checked the text message.
It was short and vague. “Good job,” it simply said, leading Dostie to do what millions of others do when looking for answers: He went on Twitter. He scrolled and scrolled and scrolled some more until he came across his own name in a tweet. Next to his name was a team – the Anaheim Ducks.
Follow him on Twitter: @ADOSTIE13
|“It’s like a movie,” he says of Orange County. “It’s very nice and very hot. A lot of nice people. I’m very happy to be here.” |
Chosen with the 115th overall selection, the Ducks used the latter of two fourth-round picks to get Dostie, who was admittedly lost for words when he saw the news. After recently concluding prospect development camp at The Rinks – Anaheim ICE, the outgoing 19-year-old took a moment to reflect on that day.
“That was crazy,” he says. “I was just so happy. This is a good organization and everything. It was crazy.”
It turns out he was alone at the time, but within seconds, he says, his phone began to light up with texts and phone calls from friends and family, and pretty much anyone that had his number. “It was three hours straight where I had a text or a phone call every 10 seconds,” he recalls. “It was so crazy.”
It was the culmination of a successful season in the ‘Q’ for the 5-10, 173-pound center, who posted career-highs in goals (25), assists (48) and points (73) in 54 regular-season games, and another 10 points (6g/4a) in 10 postseason games.
His next order of business brought him to Anaheim, where he took part in the four-day camp that focused on off-ice and on-ice work to better prepare the club’s top prospects for what’s to come. It ended with a scrimmage on July 4 that gave fans a chance to watch Dostie – and other top prospects within the organization – up close before rookie camp commences in September.
Dostie says he took a lot away from the four-day development camp, and plans to utilize what he learned into the upcoming season with the Olympiques.
“When I go back to junior, I have to step up my game and try to be the best out there,” he says. “I saw a lot of players here, and they’re very good. I know I need to work hard to compare myself to them. I can bring everything home, and it’ll be good.”
With his youthful exuberance and infectious smile, it’s hard not to root for Dostie, a native French speaker who jokingly apologized for his English. He was taken aback by his surroundings in Orange County, a slightly different landscape from the one he’s accustomed to back home. He likes it here, and he hopes someday he can call it a permanent home.
“It’s like a movie,” he says of Orange County. “It’s very nice and very hot. A lot of nice people. I’m very happy to be here.”