by Todd Anderson
Ottawa Senators 2006 fourth-round draft pick Pierre-Luc Lessard is looking forward to the next step in his hockey career in the Maritimes next season.
The former Gatineau Olympiques standout defenceman was traded to the Prince Edward Island Rocket of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League after 2005-06.
"I don't know one guy (in P.E.I), so it's going to be a new start," Lessard said during a break from on-ice workouts at the 2006 Ottawa Senators development camp. "Trades are part of hockey, and I'll just go there and meet new friends. I'm moving a bit away from home (Thetford Mines, Que.) but when you love the sport, something like this isn't a letdown."
As an 18-year-old, Lessard admits some of the older Senators prospects have had an advantage over him at the development camp, but the main thing is he's learning from the experience.
"It's hard because a lot of the other guys are bigger and stronger. This has been good though because I know where I have to get stronger and the power-skating work will help me. Things have been very intense. The (other prospects) have been really good, too. I'm the only French person here but they've been very patient with me because I don't know a lot of English."
Playing hockey in Gatineau last season, Lessard started to become a fan of the team that just recently drafted him.
"I watched a lot of Sens games last year, and my billets were fans."