At the end of the handset on this little Thursday, Quentin Miller’s voice was that of a pleasantly surprised guy. And for good reason.
It’s that the 18-year-old goaltender expected to be drafted, of course, but not now, not right away, in this fourth round of the National Hockey League draft presented in Nashville.
But that’s what happened: Quentin Miller was drafted by the Canadiens, with the 128th overall pick in that draft.
So, to the usual question, whether things are going well, the young man was quick to answer.
“I’m fine, absolutely!” he started by saying. Am I surprised? I would say that I am extremely surprised. It’s an incredible feeling right now…”
This way of defying all odds is starting to become a habit for the young Miller. This proud Ahuntsicois, a former Collège Notre-Dame, has just spent the last season with the Quebec Remparts, in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ), where he had to settle for only 20 games behind the the club’s first goalkeeper, William Rousseau.
He wasn’t much busier in the playoffs, when he didn’t play a single minute, and barely 14 minutes in the Memorial Cup tournament, which was introduced afterwards. But obviously, this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the leaders of the Montreal Canadiens towards him, who did not hesitate to speak to him on the sidelines of the draft, in order to learn a little more about him, the player, but also on him, the young man.
In Quebec next season, he will have the chance to be seen a lot more often, since he will be the starting goaltender for the Remparts.
This is in addition to the very good news he received on the phone on Thursday… Hence this huge smile that can be seen even through the handset.
“It’s often been like that with me,” he explained. There have been setbacks over the years, and I haven’t played in the elite categories very often. I played a lot in the CC, in the BB too. Finally, in the midget, I was able to play in the AAA…”
“Carey Price was my role model when I was growing up, and, much like him, I’m a goaltender who’s calm, confident, athletic…I haven’t talked to him yet, but I hope I can!” »
This call from the Canadian, on a long-awaited afternoon in June, is undoubtedly only the beginning for Quentin Miller, who is already thinking big enough. Does this mean that we will see him, one of these days, in front of one of the Bell Center nets, the same nets that his idol Price protected for several years?
He, in any case, he believes in it. He believes in it because he has always believed in it, and he believes in it even more now because the dream, his dream, hangs at his fingertips.
And it is with optimism that he thinks about the future.
“You’re going to see me at the Bell Center one day…I don’t know when, but you’re going to see me.” My story is already very beautiful, but it is not over…”