Daniel Moody is coming home.
The twenty-year-old netminders final stop in junior hockey will take place in the same rink where all his hockey dreams began, the Miramichi Civic Centre.
Moody is set to suit up for the Miramichi Timberwolves of the Maritime Hockey League after spending three seasons in QMJHL.
“It will definitely be an exciting opportunity for both myself and my family to have the chance to play in Miramichi this upcoming season,” confessed Moody.
“Over the past three seasons it has been a challenge for any close friends or relatives to see me in action due to the schedule and distance.”
“Anytime you have the chance to play in Junior hockey in your hometown always gives you a unique feeling as a player while heading to the rink,” Moody said proudly.
Moody’s inspirational journey to the QMJHL and subsequent departure from the CHL is definitely bittersweet.
“This opportunity will definitely be a change for myself, having played in Quebec for be past three years and having staying in five different billet families, but I am eager to keep the same mindset whether I’m thirty minutes away or fifteen hours away from home.”
No one ever said life in the crease would be easy.
Daniel Moody would be the first to tell you that.
The Blackville, New Brunswick product has learned to embrace all the highs and lows of the position.
The dream isn’t over for Moody, it’s a new beginning.
“My goals heading into this season have not changed from previous seasons,” stressed Moody.
“I’m going to take things one day at a time and avoid creating expectations. This situation will obviously be beneficial in terms of playing more frequently and gaining exposure, however at the end of the day it is about bettering yourself both as an athlete and an individual and I am happy to be given the chance to do so close to home.”
The Timberwolves and the MHL will undoubtedly benefit from Moody’s return.
The Maritime Junior A circuit is a highly underrated and undervalued league which continues to give players an opportunity to live out their dreams and aspirations.
The MHL is extremely valuable option for many players looking to continue their journey in the game.
Moody remains fixated on his ultimate goal of playing the game he loves at the USports level.
“Absolutely,” Moody said when asked about playing beyond the 2020-2021 season.
“Playing AUS/CIS would be the right route for myself.”
“Getting an education has always been a priority of mine and to have the chance to potentially continue to play hockey while doing so is great.”
It’s been a long and winding road for Moody and his family literally and figuratively.
The sacrifices and adversity that have confronted the Moody over the years have shaped his character as a player and person.
“Focusing on adversity, and the adversity I have went through over my career in the QMJHL, I have witnessed the temptation to quit or take the easy route when things get tough,” confessed Moody.
“Over the past three seasons, I have learned more about myself as a person rather than as an athlete in terms of combatting this temptation.”
“Adversity is beneficial in as much as it is an obstacle; you find what drives you as a player; what drives you as a person, what gets you out of bed in the morning,” Moody said.
“Through the ups and downs there have been many times where this temptation of quitting has been present, however I believe if you know why you do certain things; why you push yourself to be better, then your cause is clear.”
Moody’s unconventional path in the game showcases his unwavering resiliency will to compete.
“Having personally been placed on waivers, and having gotten sick with mono mid season all over the past year and a half, I have witnessed first hand the frustration and disappointment which comes with adversity.”
“But that feeling of euphoria when you prove others wrong is so much greater than the negativity you receive from others fans, etc, when things don’t quite go your way.”
“I have learned from many of my coaches and teammates that surrounding yourself around good, loyal people who believe in you is just as important as the physical effort that gets put into preparing for a game or a season.”
Moody is quick offer advice for young players dreaming of playing at hockey’s highest level.
“For young athletes who aspire to one day play professionally or go on to do anything in that life for that matter, adversity will always be there.”
“There will be naysayers, there will be those who don’t believe in you, and to me, that is both motivation and drive to keep proving those same people wrong,” admitted Moody.
The twenty year old netminder has channeled the adversity that has confronted him over the years to help others.
“Having worked with Atlantic Hockey Group and AGA over the past few summers, I have had the opportunity to coach many young goaltenders and to learn their unique personalities.”
“I have witnessed how adversity (athletically) can affect an individually both emotionally and mentally. I have learned over time though, that you do not have to an amazing athlete to be a good person.”
“There is absolutely no connection between your on ice performance and how you conduct yourself as a person.”
Moody’s maturity and perspective on the game and in life far exceed that of most players and people his age.
“Many young athletes including myself tend to get down on themselves if they have a bad game or let in a bad goal and continue to bring that anxiety out of the rink into their everyday functions as a human being.”
“Knowing that there is a barrier between performance and attitude is key,” confessed Moody who finished his Q career with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.
“People will criticize and critique, but it is you who are in control to react the right way.”
Through it all regret has never entered the equation for Moody.
“I don’t know if I like the word regret,” Moody said.
“I have had the opportunity to meet and play alongside many incredible people which has created lifelong friendships..”
“Would there be things I would change, absolutely, but I believe everything happens as a reason, and as I mentioned, finding what drives you as an athlete and as a person is key to facing adversity.”
“Playing in the QMJHL has allowed me to excel both athletically and academically and has set me on the right path in terms of what I intend on achieving,” Moody said.
“The league’s current academic platform has helped my financial situation for the future, and has also allowed me to compete a sector of my current degree which I will continue while playing in the MHL.”
“Sure there have been ups and downs along the way, but I would not trade that for a second just seeing how much I feel I have grown during that time.”
“The feeling of euphoria when having success is so much greater than the negativity when things don’t go your way.”
“The feeling you get when you look up into the stands and see your parents wearing your jersey proudly wearing your Jersey (while knowing they very well are getting heckled themselves) is simply priceless. It is very rewarding,” explained Moody.
Moody will never forget his time in the QMJHL.
“My fondest memories of playing in the QMJHL include defeating number two seeded Halifax Mooseheads in a sold out Scotiabank Center, just two weeks after being claimed off waivers.”
“It was difficult for family and friends to attend games very often, so anytime I was able to play in Saint John, Moncton or Bathurst, there would be thirty or forty friends in the stands watching.”
“Winning at the Moncton Coliseum in 2017 against the Wildcats with family in attendance was a great memory, as it was the first time they saw me perform at that level.”
“It was a team I grew up watching and a feel good moment, also being named to the the 2018 NHL draft rankings was a personal accomplishment of mine,” Moody said.
Moody’s last stop of his junior career will be extremely rewarding on many levels.
Moody’s foray into the coaching world continues to inspire his path in the game.
Moody will never forget the people that have helped him along the way.
Every player and person needs a mentor, a pillar of strength and support at every turn or bump in the road.
“Finding the right mentor and someone who fully believes in your abilities while at a young age is crucial,” said Moody.
“Whether you are from a rural or urban area, that should make no difference in terms of what you want to achieve either as a person or athlete.”
“Having a coach or an individual who puts their all into you is just as important as the work you put into yourself.”
“Over my career I have had many coaches, but none like Dave Kennedy or Phil Jardine. These people inspire and do things for the right reasons.”
“I would not have been able to grow up and live some of my own childhood dreams if it were not for their commitment to help better myself as an athlete and a person.”
Daniel Moody’s hockey dreams aren’t over, it’s a new beginning on his way to the final stop of his junior career.