Welsh to Establish Major QMJHL Record in Next Start
Matthew Welsh is on the verge of making Quebec Major Junior Hockey League history.
The 20-year-0ld netminder, who has spent his entire career with the Charlottetown Islanders, will set a new league record for most minutes played in a QMJHL career when he makes his next start, projected to be this Friday night against the Cape Breton Eagles
"This means a lot to me," said Welsh on the upcoming record. "It's something I've worked towards my whole junior career, and a lot of hard work has been put in to it. It's a huge honour to be in such elite company with some of the goalies that have played in this league. This means a lot to me, I'm really proud of it."
At 12,855 minutes and 29 seconds currently played over his five-year QMJHL career, Welsh is just 48 minutes and 52 seconds away from setting the record; essentially, the new record will be established at the 11:08 mark of the third period. He will pass former Prince Edward Island Rocket goaltender Ryan Mior, whose current record stands at 12,933:20.
"When I was drafted by the Islanders I had high expectations for myself, and since then I've always held myself to the highest standard. That being said, I never could have imagined getting to where I am today," said Welsh "I've always set big dreams and goals for myself, and one of those was to be the best goalie in the league for years to come. There has been a lot of hard work and effort along the way."
Welsh was originally drafted by the Islanders in the 2nd round, 37th overall, in the 2015 QMJHL Draft. He made the Islanders roster as a 16-year-old and saw action in 26 games as a rookie. Over his five-year career, Welsh has appeared in 220 games and amassed 122 wins, all while wearing the Islanders jersey.
"The city of Charlottetown and the Islanders organization have been so good to me over the past five years. Jim [Hulton] has given me every opportunity to play and succeed as a player in this organization. To have the chance to set this record in Charlottetown, in front of our fans, is huge for me," added Welsh. "I feel so close to this team and to this fans; I'm really excited for it."
Welsh's name currently sits near the top of many major goaltending records in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, including games played (4th), wins (5th), and shutouts (7th).
Join us Friday night as Welsh goes for the record against the Cape Breton Eagles. The game is also Player's Night - we'll be wearing limited-edition jerseys, designed by the players, with their nicknames emblazoned across the back. Tickets are available at the Eastlink Centre box office, by phone at 902-629-6625, or online at https://boxoffice.eastlinkcentrepei.com.
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Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Stories from February 24, 2020
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