Chad Arsesnault has made a career out of going the distance.
The eighteen-year-old netminder has battled criticism and adversity every step the way.
The constant criticism and adversity had nothing to do with his skill and compete, it was always directed towards his size.
For some in the hockey world size still matters especially when it comes to playing between the pipes.
Arsenault has had to prove the critics wrong at every level.
Nevertheless, there’s one thing scouts and the naysayers never questioned and that’s Chad Arsenault’s heart.
At only 5’7 Arsenault has stared down all the critics with the same tenacity he has when facing QMJHL shooters.
“I’ve always wanted to prove the critics wrong,” Aresenault said proudly.
“There’s nothing I can do about it, but keep working hard and keep playing,” Arsenault said of critics questioning his size.
As they say good things happen to those who wait, well Chad Arsenault has waited along time to get an opportunity to prove himself in the QMJHL.
That opportunity came in the way of a trade early Friday morning.
The Charlottetown Islanders traded Arsesnault to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan for a ninth round pick in the 2021 QMJHL Draft.
Everyone knows life in the crease is pressure packed, unpredictable and chaotic at the best of times, but you could say the last 48 hours has been a whirlwind for Arsesnault.
“It’s exciting, it’s something you always want, but it doesn’t happen very often, but it’s more important that we got the win,” Arsenault said after shutting out the Moncton Wildcats this evening.
What does it mean to finally get the opportunity to play in the QMJHL and have early success?
“It means a lot,” stressed Arsesnault.
“It’s what I’ve been waiting for.”
“I’m just trying to make the most of it.”
Arsenault has always battled between the pipes never ever backing down from a challenge.
It takes a special person to throw on the mask on and don the pads.
Longtime QMJHL fan and analyst Mark Cudmore perhaps said it best when describing Arsenault.
“Height doesn’t measure heart.”
Chad Arsesnault is all heart. He epitomizes class, character and resiliency. The diminutive backstop has never given up on his dream.
Simply put there’s no quit in the newly acquired Titan netminder.
The athletically gifted netminder is a throw back. Arsesnault is one of those goaltenders that could play in any era of the game.
His technique and approach to the position may not be as refined and or polished as people are accustomed to seeing, but you can always count on Arsesnault selling out to make the save and stand tall for all the players in front of him.
You see Chad Arsenault has made a career out of going the distance.
You don’t have to watch him for very long to realize just how much he loves the game, the position and stopping pucks.
All any player wants is an opportunity.
All any goaltender ever wants is to play.
“I appreciate that they saw that there was no room there so they Islanders gave me an opportunity,” Arsesnault said when asked about Fridays trade.
“I really appreciate them giving me that opportunity.”
Chad Arsenault has taken full advantage of his opportunity with the Acadie Bathurst Titan posting back to back victories in dramatic fashion.
What are Arsesnault’s expectations moving forward?
“It’s back to work this week,” Arsesnault said.
“Hopefully I can keep on rolling,” he said.
Perhaps no one knows him better than longtime friend and Titan teammate Bennett MacArthur and Charlottetown Islanders Goalie Coach Paul Drew.
“Chad’s a down to earth guy who always brings a positive attitude and a very calming presence to the team,” said MacArthur.
MacArthur and Arsenault go way back. They played Midget AAA together with the Kenningston Wild.
“Chad’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever played with,” admitted the skilled gritty power forward.
“All he has needed his whole career was an opportunity.”
“An opportunity to prove himself and he has always stepped up,” MacArthur said proudly.
From the technical side to the personal side Paul Drew is very proud of the former Islanders prospect.
“I think the special thing with Chad is his patience on releases and how he holds his feet,” said Drew.
“Any goalie or goalie coach for that matter when we have a discussion on him it’s the first thing that sticks out.”
“Everyone may say that’s because of his size, which probably helps, but I think he’s that good at tracking pucks.”
How difficult is it to crack to the Q at Arsenault’s size?
“It’s just not Chad, I think it’s something that every goalie his size has to go through. The good ones find away to play in the league,” Drew said.
“They find a way to play in the league, because they find a way to stop more pucks than the other guy.”
“Chad has found a way to stop more pucks and peaks people’s interest,” Drew said proudly.
What is Chad Aresenault like as a person and student?
“I just think Chad really enjoys playing the game.”
“He just loves the game.”
“Chad has a natural compete and ability that’s in him, he loves stopping pucks,” Drew said.
“You can see that it is in every fibre of his being, that’s what type of kid he is,” explained Drew.
“Chad is pretty happy go lucky and is just happy to playing the game.”
There’s no telling how far Chad Arsenault will go.
Aresenault is quick to deflect personal credit for his early success in the Q.
“There’s a lot of people that have helped me to get here,” Arsesnault said.
“My parents, friends and family have always believed in me.”
“Big shoutout to the guys back home in PEI that helped me put in the work like Nelson MacAualy, Drew MacIntrye, Paul Drew.”
“All those guys really helped me a lot.”
Did he ever think he would get an opportunity to play in the QMJHL?
“I’ve always wanted it, but it’s always something that would come with hard work.”
“I’ve just focused on the moment and I knew if I put in the work that I would hopefully get here one day,” admitted Arsesnault.
What about the nerves or high expectations moving forward?
How will Aresenault confront those aspects of the game?
“I try to use those nerves to fire me up,” confessed Arsesnault.
“As long as I’m nervous, I still care. Nerves are a good thing,” Arsenault said.
There’s no question Chad Arsenault is ready to go the distance.
As they say good things happen to good people. Good things happen to those that wait.
The wait is over for Chad Aresenault, it’s his time to shine.
Arsenault deserves every single accolade and praise that comes his way. Stand tall, be fearless, but most of all go the distance.