Rafael Harvey Pinard | “I want to make my place with the Canadian”

Rafaël Harvey-Pinard’s goal is clear: he wants to play in Montreal next season. He went to great lengths to achieve this, establishing himself not only as the Rocket’s top scorer but also as a die-hard leader.

Posted at 9:00 am

Nicholas Richard

Nicholas Richard
The press

Rafaël Harvey-Pinard is no stranger to having a letter under his left shoulder.

Captain of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ), he gained the trust of Laval Rocket head coach Jean-François Houle, who had no hesitation in naming him assistant captain at the start of the season , despite having only 36 games of seniority in the world of professional hockey.

Harvey-Pinard took that role and made something useful out of it. At 23, he has established himself as one of the most important players on the team, leading by example both on the ice and in the dressing room.

“He has shown a lot of leadership in the way he competes. He gives everything to every presence. He’s not the most talkative, but it was a good thing that he got an A and a chance to show off his leadership skills,” said Houle.

Despite having a rather sluggish start to the season, he finally found the confidence to push the limits. He finished first in the team standings with 56 points, including 21 goals, in 69 games.

“He’s improved a lot. He’s a good player with a very good hockey mind. […] I found him quicker than at the beginning of the year,” added Houle.

“His shooting has improved tremendously. He’s one of those players who stays after each practice session to practice his shot. He is a young man dedicated and studying the game. Your success is no accident. He’s working to improve and I think he has a bright future ahead of him. »

Getting started in the NHL

His dedication and the quality of his American League play earned the Saguenay athlete a recall from the Canadians during the holiday season. He also scored in his first NHL game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 28. After all, he will have played four games at the big club.

Harvey-Pinard had a chance to touch his dream. Now he wants to enjoy it to the fullest and his ambitions are no less: “I know what I want next year. I want to take my place with the Montreal Canadiens. »

That will be my goal and I will work very hard this summer to achieve it.

Rafael Harvey Pinard

He believes he has gained a lot of experience from what he experienced in his first full season as a pro, the team’s journey to the playoffs and his time with the Canadiens. While aware it won’t be easy, Harvey-Pinard knows the members of the organization have been keeping an eye on him throughout the season. He hopes that being himself will be enough to convince the General Staff in September.

“I will keep the same identity. I’m going to go to the places that hurt, those are the places that pay the most on the ice, so I’m going to keep playing like that,” he added.

Unforgettable moments

Harvey-Pinard captured the hearts of fans from his first forays into the rocket. His aggressiveness, courage and ability to stand up at important moments also won over his teammates.

The culmination of all this arduous work by this never-satisfied player was probably the crucial overtime goal in Game 4 of the Conference Finals to level the series. An emotional and intense match, charged by the energy of a Place Bell filled to the maximum, which ended in complete hysteria amidst the screams of the crowd, the white towels and the house announcer singing Harvey-Pinard’s name thanks to a precise shot from number 11.

“It’s still a lot of emotion. When I think about it, I still get chills. In an interview after the game, I said that we kind of forget what’s happening in those moments, and I still see pictures today, and then I realize me that it really happened.

“It’s an unforgettable moment, it was completely insane. I would have liked to have scored to go through to the next round, but it’s the most important goal of my career. I will remember it for a long time. »

Harvey-Pinard’s next mission is colossal, but no less achievable. Time for many more unforgettable moments, this time with the CH logo on his jersey.

Leave a Comment