How could a President Cup and Memorial Cup Champion defenceman fly under the radar?
If you want the answer to that question just look at Samuel Regis’ journey in the game.
Regis was outstanding a season ago in the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies memorable run to capture junior hockey supremacy.
At 5’11 198 pounds Regis isn’t going to over power the opposition physically, but that certainly doesn’t mean he isn’t tough to play against.
The 18 year old defender is still arguably one of the most underrated players in the league.
The two and half zone defenceman has played inspired hockey this season and truly epitomizes what it means to be a Rouyn-Noranda Huskie.
“As a veteran we certainly talk about our culture and try to pass that along to all of the rookies just like all the players that have came before us,” said Regis.
“Our culture is the teams DNA.”
“It’s really important because we are a team that doesn’t relay on skill or playing fancy.”
“We are a hard working team and that’s what has made us successful.”
Identity and culture is everything in today’s game and when you have the ability to put players in roles to succeed you inevitably will win and win a lot.
Samuel Regis is a perfect example of a player that found his niche as a young defenceman on a championship team.
That’s a rare commodity, but it all starts with an opportunity and the Huskies cultural identity.
A players willingness to accept their role and play to their true identity is a common foundational approach taken by many teams across the QMJHL, but there are none better than the Huskies.
The Huskies simply do it the right way.
From top to bottom the Huskies organization are exceptional at drafting and developing players.
That’s what makes last year’s championship team so special and this years version equally unique.
Mario Pouliot and the Huskies aren’t afraid to give young talented players time to grow and mature in the Midget ranks while also giving others time to flourish at the Q league level.
Their projections and ability to identify a players full potential speaks volumes about their scouting staff and coaching staff’s philosophies.
Regis only played 2 games with the Huskies in 2017-2018.
The 2018-2019 season was Regis’ time to shine.
In 68 games the Chateauguay, Quebec product scored 1 goal while adding 23 assists and was a staggering +56.
It was Regis’ play in the post season and beyond that was truly incredible the youngster had ice in his veins.
Poise, patience and confidence, Regis possessed them all and still does.
Obviously, the talented rear guard understands this years team dynamic is vastly different, but it’s his time to step up as a leader.
“The transition from last year to this is a little bit different. It’s been a good year for me so far,” confessed Regis.
“We were a winning team last season, but sometimes you lose, it’s part of the process.”
The feisty two-way blueliner continues to put up impressive numbers for the reloading Huskies.
That’s right not rebuilding.
The Huskies have had a very solid respectable season considering their monumental run at championship glory a season ago.
In 63 games this season their record is 29-30-2-2, which is incredible considering they won everything last season.
What role has Mario Pouliot played in his development over the past two seasons?
“Mario has been good for me. He always makes me push harder.”
“Even when I have good shifts, he’s always pushing me to get to another level.”
“Last season I tried to stayed composed has as possible.”
“I tried to stay grounded and not get a big head.”
“I was in a more supportive role last year. I tried to do my job when I went on the ice.”
“By the end of the year I was playing a lot of minutes.”
“Noah Dobson and Peter Abbandonato and the rest of the veterans were great for my career.”
“They were all good role models,” Regis said.
“I tried to look up to them and learn from them on how to be a pro.”
Unfortunately Regis’ breakout season still wasn’t enough for the defender to drafted into the NHL.
The Colorado Avalanche did invite the strong skating two-way defender to their camp.
“I used that experience to see how I compare to the pro guys.”
“It was good to see what I was able and capable of doing,” Regis said of his time in the Avs camp.
“I noticed that it they were bigger, and stronger.”
“It’s more physical and a little bit faster.”
“You have to be ready and anticipate. You have to know your play,” explained Regis.
What is solid blue liners ultimate goal and dream when it comes to game he loves?
“I would love to sign a pro contract.”
“That’s out of my control right now. I’m focused on doing my job on the ice and the rest will take of itself.”
“My number one goal is to play in the NHL. I’m a passionate guy and I love what I do.”
“I would love to have hockey be part of my entire life.”
Under the radar or in the spotlight Samuel Regis understands his role and place in the game now more than ever. His relentless pursuit to play pro hockey continues.