If it seems like Sound Tigers defenseman Travis Hamonic and goaltender Kevin Poulin are on the same page out on the ice, it’s because they share a unique history. The 22-year-olds met as junior prospects in 2009 at the Draft Combine in Toronto, where a common bond immediately made the two into friends.
“He was rooming with one of my buddies from Quebec at the combine and we just started talking,” Poulin said. “He was speaking French.”
It’s no surprise that Poulin, who hails from Montreal, QC, speaks fluent French. It may seem a bit more unusual, however, for someone from Western Canada like Hamonic to be fluent in both French and English. But as Hamonic explains, in the pocket of Southern Manitoba he calls home, it’s the standard.
“I’m from probably the best small town in the world,” Hamonic said. “It’s about an hour south of Winnipeg – a town called St. Malo. Probably a thousand people live there. It’s a French-farming-hockey-playing town. Those are probably the three terms to describe it. In Southern Manitoba there’s quite a bit of French heritage. It dates back a couple hundred years.”