Our North Central Ontario Hockey Association would like to congratulate one of our alumnus Phil Daoust for being drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the 6th round of the recent NHL draft. Phil played three years in our organization and was a team leader on those Atom-Peewee teams.
Although Phil was not big in stature….his heart was that of a lion and because of his passion for the game and tireless work ethic…he proved a lot of people wrong along his hockey journey. Phil’s route to becoming an NHL draft pick is a story made for Hollywood. Always a talented and high IQ player, Phil’s lack of physical size was seen by many ‘experts’ as a negative…..what feet and inches didn’t measure was Phil’s work ethic, desire and love for the game. Phil is from Innisfil, Ontario. He played with the Winterhawks at the “A” level in Novice. In his Atom year he arrived in Rama to play “AAA” hockey for the Preds for three seasons quickly becoming a team leader. As others in his age group grew physically, Phil was one of the kids who didn’t…his skill and hockey acumen remained; however, the inches of height and pounds of weight were not quick to come to him. As a result, Phil returned to “A” hockey in Innisfil. Many kids see returning to a lower level of play as being a demotion which often can lead kids quitting hockey....not Phil. The following year, Phil played “AA” hockey for TNT. Phil kept loving the game and never stopped working. In time, Phil began to grow physically. He returned to “AAA” hockey in his minor and major midget years. Although he found success, he went undrafted. Going undrafted didn’t deter Phil, it motivated him to work even harder. Following a season of major midget, Phil played a year in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League for the French River Rapids club. He led all rookies in point production in that circuit and caught the eyes of many major junior clubs. As a free agent, Phil opted to join the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Last season Phil made the jump to major junior hockey putting up 29 points in his inaugural season. This year, Phil is back with the Wildcats and has been named an Alternate Captain on the club. Phil’s hockey journey is an example of perseverance and what a love for the game can bring. All hockey stories don’t end with being drafted to the NHL, but knowing Phil he just enjoyed the work and the fun of playing along the way. Many current experts likely doubt whether or not Phil Daoust, a sixth round draft pick, can make the NHL. What they should do is get to know the person who is the 158th overall pick. Phil Daoust will “bet on himself”…..he won’t let his chance rely on luck however. He will work harder than everyone. Listen to his interview the morning after being
drafted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS7l1pn1c4M Our Predator’s organization wishes Phil all the best as he continues to pursue his hockey dream.