Cedric Pare has experienced it all in bid four years in the QMJHL.
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
From winning a Championship, to playing in the Memorial Cup to being Drafted into the NHL, to playing on a rebuilding team, to being passed over and never signing an ELC with the Bruins, to having the opportunity to win another President Cup with the Rimouski Oceanic, the quiet well spoken kid from Pintendre, Quebec has truly embraced his last ride in the QMJHL.
“Obviously, it’s a lot of fun and it’s exciting,” Pare said of having another chance to capture the President Cup with the Oceanic as an overager.
“We have a good team and we compete hard every night.”
“It’s been a lot of fun.”
The veteran center has excelled in his final tour of duty in the Q. The savvy two-way rangy center continues to put up incredible numbers this season playing along side projected 1st overall 2020 NHL Draft pick Alexis Lafrenière.
Pare’s role and identity during his time in the league has dramatically changed.
“I bring energy and life in the locker room for the younger guys are comfortable with me in the locker room that’s my job, so I bring that leadership on and off the ice that’s for sure,” Pare said confidently.
In 58 games for the Oceanic this season, the former Boston Bruins 2017 6th round pick has 36 goals 48 assists, 32 PIMs and is a +39.
Individual success is one thing, having a chance to be a part of another championship team is completely different.
Pare is driven to experience championship euphoria once again.
“For sure, we want to win it all,” said Pare.
“It’s game by game, round by round and if we focus on the rest of the season right now and if we play hard every night.”
“We played hard tonight and I thought we played well,” referring to the overtime loss at the hand the Moncton Wildcats on Wednesday night.
“If we play like that kind of game, I think we can go as far as possible.”
The deadline to sign his first NHL Entry Level Contract with the Boston Bruins had come and gone for Pare.
The dream to play professionally and to play in the NHL had to wait.
One can only imagine the individual and shared disappointment amongst his family and friends.
So close to his dream, but yet so far.
Pare did get an invite to Winnipeg Jet’s Training Camp last summer after going unsigned.
Through it all Pare tried to take it all in stride.
“I want to go to the next level,” Pare said confidently.
“I want to focus on that.”
“It was more like motivation when I didn’t sign with Boston,” confessed Pare.
“I worked hard in the summer to make sure I would have a good start to the season and a strong season.”
That’s an understatement.
Pare has been exceptional for the Océanic and has been a part of arguably the best trio in the entire CHL playing with Lafrenière and speedy Russian import star Dmitry Zavgorodniy.
How special is it to play with #11?
“It’s fun,” Pare said with a rye smile.
“He’s a good player, I get to play with two good players, so it’s really fun to have chemistry with them both on and off the ice, that’s part of the success,” admitted Pare.
“It’s been good,” said Lafrenière of playing with Pare.
“Cedric is playing a good 200 ft. game and for me I think it’s great for me to have a centremen like this that can pick up pucks in every zone and he can shoot the puck, so I think every time I feed him it’s always a scoring chance.”
The top unit for the Serge Beausoleil’s Océanic have combined for 245 points this season and no doubt would have had a lot more if the young highly skilled shifty Russian hadn’t got injured earlier this year which forced him to miss the World Juniors.
Pare is quick to credit Beausoleil for individual and team success the last two seasons in Rimouski.
“We need to give him a lot for helping my game,”Pare said.
“When I’m doing good things, he’s telling me and when I’m doing something wrong he tells me as well.”
Pare likes to know where he stands with regards to his game.
Effective communication amongst today’s coaches is truly critical in this era of the game.
As far as coaches are concerned Pare has had some great ones in Danny Flynn and aforementioned Serge Beausoleil.
“Serge just doesn’t want me to play good every game, he wants me to play perfect every night.”
“He’s a big part of the success,” said Pare.
Cedric Pare has had an incredible journey in the QMJHL, that journey may very well end hoisting a Cup or two over his head!