Christophe Rondeau, the surprise of the camp

Christophe Rondeau, the surprise of the camp

Christophe Rondeau had not taken part in a single Phoenix training session when he learned that the organization was keeping him a place in the roster.

Share September 28, 2020 10:17 p.m. Share Christophe Rondeau, the camp's surpriseChristophe Rondeau, the surprise of the camp

Jérôme Gaudreau La Tribune SHERBROOKE – Each selection camp has its share of surprises. The Sherbrooke Phœnix is no exception this year. In addition to having retained the services of Jean-Raphaël Roy, a rookie drafted in the 13th round in 2020, Stéphane Julien chose to make room for Christophe Rondeau without even having seen him participate in a single training session of the 2020 camp since the The 17-year-old defenseman suffered a concussion with his collegiate team just before the Phoenix came back.

The line-up seemed to be complete on defense. The absence of Gregory Kreutzer and Pavel Grishin, however, allowed Christophe Rondeau to secure a place of choice in the defensive brigade during the last preparatory match on Saturday.

“When I came to visit the Palais des sports with my father and the team leaders a few days before camp, I was told that the team wanted to keep me and that they trusted me. After the draft, I also had encouraging discussions with Jocelyn Thibault. But since I was missing most of the camp and had just suffered a concussion, I was afraid the Phoenix wouldn't guard me. I was in shock when I heard the news. “

Christophe Rondeau has never played in the midget AAA circuit. Entrenched in pre-camp on his first participation at 15, the defender then decided not to try his luck the following year, preferring to stay with the juvenile team of the Chêne-Bleu high school in Quebec.

Christophe Rondeau, the surprise of the camp

Jaxon Bellamy, in the foreground, took Christophe Rondeau under his wing at the end of the Phoenix camp, when the young defender returned to play. La Tribune, Maxime Picard

“When I heard that the Phoenix invited me by reserving me a place in the list of 34 players, I was already happy,” confided the 5th round pick at the last auction. I trusted the Chêne-Bleu program and everything indicates that I made the right decision. The best gateway to the QMJHL is of course the midget AAA, so I can be proud of having succeeded by using a different path. “

His leadership qualities, his speed and his vision of the game quickly pleased the Sherbrooke staff.

“Our recruiters saw him play last season and assured me that Christophe could help our team this year. We already had enough information about him to make our decision without having seen him at the camp, ”explains Stéphane Julien.

“I have great offensive skills, but I still have a lot to learn and I believe I am in the right place to progress quickly: I am not very big and I have to stand out differently and improve my defense to become even better, 5'10, 160-pound player. Veterans like Jaxon Bellamy and Xavier Bernard have taken me under their wing for the last few days. The march is high between the juvenile and the LHJMQ. But I'm going to have had two weeks to prepare for Friday's opener and I plan to take my chance by taking advantage of the absence of a few defenders to help the team win as much as possible. “

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