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 Charlottetown Islanders

Where Are They Now: Pascal Aquin

May 24, 2024 - Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
Charlottetown Islanders News Release

Pascal Aquin was drafted in the fifth round, 75th overall of the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft by a team he would never play a game for, the Gatineau Olympiques. He was dealt to the Shawinigan Cataractes during that same year's trading window for American defenseman, Frank Schumacher, who would play just 30 more games in the league.

Aquin made his QMJHL debut at 17 years old for the Cataractes and played two seasons in Shawinigan. Notching 17 regular season points across 91 games for the Cataractes, he was never truly given the opportunity to showcase his abilities.

During the 2016 off-season, after leading the team to the second round in his first year as the Islanders head coach, Jim Hulton went out and made a trade for the Le Gardeur, Quebec native. Hulton sent a 2017, 9th-round pick to Shawinigan for Aquin. A deal that cost very little for the Islanders to make, would prove to bring a player in who would end up playing a pivotal role in his two years on the Island.

"I think when I came to Charlottetown, Jim gave me ice time, something that I didn't really have in Shawinigan which gave me confidence right away. Obviously, playing with Keith Getson right away helped. Things clicked between us right away, we played a north-south game and we found success together," said Aquin.

In 2018, the Islanders finished the season in ninth place with a .596 winning percentage. The league had them pegged as a bottom-feeder, but the young men in the Islanders locker room didn't see themselves that way. After taking out the Quebec Remparts in seven games, they went on to sweep the fourth-ranked team in the league, the Halifax Mooseheads. They even took the league champions the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada to seven games in the semi-finals; a run the Island and Aquin remember fondly.

"My last season with the Islanders when I was 20 years old is a memory I'll never forget. That year the whole league said we would finish at the bottom. We managed to make the playoffs because we had a team that worked hard together and we made it all the way to game seven of the semi-finals. We did end up losing to the Armada, but still, to this day I think of that playoff run and it brings me back," said Aquin.

For fans of that 2017-18 Islanders squad, you'll remember Aquin's overtime-winning goal that sealed a massive game-one victory for the Islanders in enemy territory. A win that would give Charlottetown the momentum in the series, which they never let go of. However, there was a feeling for Aquin which topped his OT winner.

"Yes, it was a great feeling, but game seven in Quebec was even better personally."

The game Aquin is referring to was their 8-3 dominant victory over Quebec in game seven of the first round. The 1997-born forward scored four of his eight post-season goals in that game.

Now 26 years old, Aquin has spent the past three years playing in Germany. The past two campaigns with the Hannover Scorpions in The Oberliga, Germany's tier three hockey league.

"At first it was obviously hard with the language barrier. It was really hard and I still have difficulty speaking it but I understand it more and more as time passes. However, I had good teammates that welcomed me and living close to the mountains was really something I will always remember," said Aquin.

Across his past two seasons with the Scorpions, Aquin has tallied 71 goals and 158 total points in 98 games. A 1.6 points-per-game average.

"It was a little different because of the smaller ice. Compared to the East Coast, I felt there were a lot more skilled guys but I think that helped me get better. I felt that I got stronger compared to my first professional year and I keep improving year by year."

Before going to Germany, Aquin spent three seasons splitting time between the ECHL and AHL for the Rochester Americans, Cincinnati Cyclones and Jacksonville Icemen.

Despite living in Europe now, Aquin still makes time for the Island he called home as a teenager.

"I'm still keeping in touch with Catherine and Shawn who were my billets in Charlottetown. They came to visit me in the States during my first and second pro years and two summers ago I went to visit them in P.E.I."

The 6-foot-2 left-shot forward had some advice to pass along to current Islanders players as well.

"Just enjoy the time and have fun because these years pass by really quickly and you don't realize it but these are the best times in hockey."

As for what's next for Pascal Aquin, for the moment being, he's happy right where he's at.

"I'm going to keep playing in Europe for a while, I really like it here. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my summer with my family and friends," said Aquin.

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Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League Stories from May 24, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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