The pandemic will be good for Quebec Remparts’ new goalkeeper, Louis-Antoine Denault. Since March 22, 2020, the first day of quarantine, he has grown nine inches taller which is one of the biggest surprises in the team’s training camp.
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It’s hard not to notice on the ice the person who, against all odds, secured his place as the Red Devils’ second choice goalkeeper for next season.
At 6ft 7in, he is the tallest player on a team that counts on several other top players, including defenders Simon Maltess and Jack Moffat (6ft 5in each), Vsevolod Komarov (6ft 3in) as well as forwards Justin Duval (6 ft 6 in). ) and Mikael Hochet (6’3″).
This prestige is the result of a meteoric growth spurt, which coincided with the cessation of sporting activities during the pandemic.
“When we stopped because of covid-19 [en mars 2020]I was 5’10, and when we started again, I was 6’3,” I told the friendly giant on Tuesday morning, in the youth wing. We haven’t played yet, so it was difficult for me to go back and adjust to my new height. But playing basketball helped me with my mobility. […] I’ve only gained an inch this year, so I’m starting to slow down. I’m 16 so it’s hard to say when I’ll finish growing, but I shouldn’t be taller than 6’8!”
Stephens LeBlanc/Journal de Quebec
After spending his last season with the school, with St. Louis Academy, Denault appeared in the Remparts camp as a guest player.
And neither he nor the Remparts really believed in his chances of becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the organization at the end of training camp. Even Dino had warned the team that he would not exceed the 48-hour limit, lest he lose his eligibility for admission to American colleges.
“Honestly, at first his name wasn’t on the cards,” the team’s goalkeeper coach, Pascal Lisot, admits. But after the first day I said: ‘Oh, we have something.’
“What I like above all is that he is athletic and agile despite his size. I’ve been in juniors for a long time and also worked with Hockey Quebec and Hockey Canada. Every time, we’ve told the guys the same thing: It’s important to play other sports. He plays basketball and it shows. .
Draft for the NHL?
It’s still early days and we shouldn’t be skipping a beat, but Pascal Lisot expects Denault to attract interest from NHL teams by the 2025 draft, when he becomes eligible.
His stature makes him a very interesting project in a sport where tall goalkeepers are very popular.
“It’s a great project. Even when things go wrong, he’ll still be 6’7”, so gap coverage will still be normal. “Now I have to add some extras to that,” says the man, who will try to reach out to other goalkeeper coaches who have worked with athletes of his size to get some tricks out of them, including the goalkeeper coach. Lightning, Frantz Gein, who coached Ben Bishop with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Until then, Denault just wants to enjoy the experience and learn from the team’s first-choice goalkeeper, Quentin Miller.
“I didn’t know Quentin, but he’s a really good guy. He didn’t play much last year and that will be my turn this year. It will let me know how he has managed to keep such a good mentality, and that will help me. I really find myself in a winning environment here.”
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