Leaving His Mark

Young hockey players are told all the time to trust the process, but does this generation really understand what that means?

With entitlement and instant gratification at the forefront of today’s culture and society ‘trust the process’ has taken on an entirely different meaning. 

 Many young aspiring athletes want to leave their mark on the gaome right away while reaching their full potential.  

For some that element of the game takes time, patience and incredible sacrifice.

You see that’s what makes Isiah Campbell’s journey in the game of hockey so unique.  

The pride of Pierrefonds, Quebec has always trusted the process and has certainly left his mark on the QMJHL.  

Through all the ups and downs Isiah Campbell never backed down, never gave up on himself or his dream and has definitely found his place in the game.  

Isiah Campbell never let the adversity he faced early on in his career define him as a player or person.  

An Unforgettable Experience 

Every player will always remember their first game. The first time they laced them up and skated on QMJHL ice. 

“I remember I was 15 years old and the game was against Shawinigan,” Campbell said proudly.

“I was nervous, but at the same time excited especially playing on the same team with guys like Thomas Chabot, Mathieu Joseph and Boko Imama.”  

“My first game was definitely a moment in my career that was special for me.”  

“I feel that coming into my first major junior season in Saint John was an excellent place to begin my career,” admitted Campbell.  

“My time in Saint John was short, but sweet,” confessed Campbell.  

Campbell was selected in the 3rd round by the Sea Dogs 51st overall.  

On January 3, 2018 Campbell was traded to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for goaltender Tommy DaSilva.

“I only played about thirty games for the Sea Dogs. I was sixteen years old and I admired many of the older guys especially since they came back from winning the Cup. Saint John is still probably one of the best places in the Q to play,” admitted Campbell.  

Campbell’s dream to play in the QMJHL was a reality, but how difficult was it being traded at such a young age?  

“I had just turned seventeen years old when I was traded.”  

“Being traded at a such young age definitely made me more mature,” said Campbell.  

Growing pains are to be expected for young players trying to find their way.  

Campbell was projected to be a solid prototypical power forward with tremendous offensive upside.  

That aspect of his game didn’t show through during his time in the Port City.  

“I had a rough start in Saint John, but played a great deal with the Eagles which resulted in a better second half in Cape Breton.”  

“I remember the small airport had cancelled all flights for several days due to a storm, and when I finally landed in Cape Breton, I was welcomed by the coach and was put to the test and played immediately,” Campbell said.  

Growth On and Off the Ice  

Every young player needs a mentor, someone to look up to; bounce ideas off of, model their game after, but most importantly help them adjust to life at the next level. Campbell was trying to gain his footing in the Q when a fellow Eagle teammate was experiencing an extremely tragic loss.

That experience changed Campbell’s trajectory as a player and leader.  

“When I was in Cape Breton, our captain at the time, Declan Smith, lost his mother.”  

“I think watching him throughout the year give a hundred percent in every game showed me how it is to be a true leader,” said a reflective Campbell.  

“Declan was an inspiration.”  

“Witnessing that at a young age made me better player on and off the ice.”  

Campbell’s time in Cape Breton would also be numbered.  

The young highly skilled forward would eventually find himself on the trading block once again, this time it was on his own terms.  

“I learned to adapt to changes, fight through challenges and excel as a person in Cape Breton.”  

“I had an outstanding billet family who came to every game in every province,” stressed Campbell.  

“The city and fans were fantastic, I loved learning about that part of Canada, the people of Cape Breton are exceptional,” Campbell said proudly.  

Campbell would appear in 90 games with the Eagles scoring 21 goals and 23 assists before being traded to the Drummondville.  

On His Own Terms  

“Being traded for the second time was different, due to the fact that I asked to be traded at the end of the second year to be able to use my leadership skills with a new team and to be given a better opportunity to pursue my career,” explained Campbell.  

“It was a decision I am thankful I made,” stressed Campbell.  

The hockey world is always intrigued with stats and numbers, Campbell really blossomed as a complete two-way player while in Cape Breton even though his numbers might not have indicated that.  

The best was yet to come for Campbell who was on the cusp of a breakthrough season with the Volts.  

“The trades weren’t something we planned on seeing throughout my career, but it’s part of the course with this league we all learned,” Campbell said.   

“Everyone is given a different path and mine made me a stronger player on and off the ice.” 

“The Voltigeurs had given me the opportunity to succeed so this trade was definitely a great part of my success and where I am today.”

Photo Credit L’Express de Drummondville

“I am thankful for the route I’ve have taken so far,” Campbell said.  

Campbell found himself playing in the top six, and receiving top power play minutes.  

In 63 games, Campbell would light the lamp 26 times while adding 34 assists.  

The power forward that all the scouts projected had finally arrived due in large part because he was given an opportunity.  

For some players an opportunity is all they need to succeed.  

All they need to leave their mark.  

Campbell has never lost sight of the value of hard work, dedication and passion for the game he loves.  

The sacrifices his family have made to get him to this point of his career isn’t lost on the high scoiring veteran forward.  

 “My mom would always bring me to all my hockey practices, games, tournaments.”  

“She signed me up to every camp, every training session and vacations were set around my schedule.”  

“Hockey is a very expensive sport, so my parents had to work hard to support my dream.” 

“I appreciate all the sacrifices they had to make for me, it wasn’t easy,” said Campbell proudly.  

What aspects of his game did Campbell work on the last two seasons to have so much success offensively?

 “I worked on my offensive skills a great deal over the last two seasons.”

“Increasing my strength, sharpening my shot, and increasing my speed.”

“By nature, I always look for the right play in game situations, and try to use that to create scoring chances for my team to win.”

Photo Credit L’Express de Drummondville

“My goal is to be an outstanding power forward to be able to be used in all situations playing winger or center,” admitted Campbell.

“I am grateful for Powerhouse Sport Performance trainers who provided excellent off ice training,” he added.

All the hard work as certainly paid off.

What are Campbell’s future plans in the game? Where do you see yourself playing next year?  

 “I am optimistic about the future,” Campbell said.

“I hope I can play many more games this year to demonstrate how much I have grown as a player.”

“I am keeping my options open, but I hope to be playing pro next year, and eventually make it as a career,” he added.

Campbell’s patience , resiliency and persistence has serve him well.

What advice would you serve up to other young players and perhaps other late bloomers coming into the league?  

“My advice would be to have a plan.”

“But that plan has to be flexible and adaptable.”

“If that plan changes in every situation, you have to give it your “all” every time,” Campbell said.

“You can only control what you do, not what anyone else does around you, so work hard on and off the ice and remain positive in all situations,” Campbell said.

How rewarding is it to be part of the leadership group with the Volts while having so much personal success along the way?  

 “It is extremely rewarding,” Campbell said proudly.

“Our team has a lot of young talent and it reminds of me when I was their age.”

“I hope that I can be a role model to them as I had with the players from Saint John and Cape Breton.”

“As part of one’s path to excel, it is equally important to assist others along the way.”

“I want their experience to be rewarding and successful so if I can be part of their journey to be a positive one, that would be awesome,” Campbell said.

Spoken like a true team first player.

What have the last four years meant to Campbell and has he taken any time to reflect on his time in the Q?

“My experiences were filled with ups and downs, highs and lows.”

Photo Credit L’Express de Drummondville

“I wouldn’t change a single thing.”

“It has made me who I am today and to me this is just the beginning, not the end,” Campbell said.

“Every hurdle made me stronger, every person taught me something about myself and life.”

“I’m very grateful of all the people I have met, the families that have opened their homes to me and of course of all the players I have built great friendships with.”

“I thank every team that believed in me and helped me become a better player and person.”

Isiah Campbell trusted the process and has poured his heart and soul into the game every step of the way.

Young hockey players are told all the time to trust the process, but does this generation really understand what that means? 

Isiah Campbell certainly does.

The high scoring power forward from Pierrefonds, Quebec continues to leave his mark on the game of hockey in more ways than he could ever imagine.

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