Home to one of the oldest covered rinks in Canada, as well as the seemingly nine-month long Quebec winters, the BCS campus on Moulton Hill is an ideal setting for a prep hockey program that has slowly but surely been making a name for itself over the past decade.
A national championship last year, two Ridley College Tiger Cup wins in three years, and a 2016 PSHF U16 championship banner are but a few of the achievements of a program that has had 14 players drafted to the QMJHL in the last four years. Bears’ alumni are also playing throughout top leagues in North America such as the CCHL, AJHL, NAHL, MJAHL, and BCHL, as well as in the NCAA.
However, most hockey players will tell you that the ultimate goal is to make it to the NHL; to go to “The Show.” On Friday, June 22, former Bear Noah Dobson, BCS’18, moved one step closer to that goal. Years of hard work and sacrifice (by his whole family) were rewarded when he was selected 12th overall by the New York Islanders during the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas last Friday night.
"It really hasn't sunk in yet. It was a great night to be there with lots of friends and family. To be drafted by the New York Islanders, it's an honour and dream come true."
Dobson spent the 2014-15 season at BCS before heading to Austria to play with the Red Bull Akademie junior team. While he may have only spent one season here, he credits BCS with helping him grow as both a person and a player. “It was my first experience of being on my own. I was able to mature and learn by living on my own and having to deal with things like time management. As a player, I was in an environment with great coaches, such as Mike Couch, and was in the gym and on the ice almost every day, which was beneficial for my development.”
Indeed, Dobson’s maturity, personality, and commitment to family were among the many reasons NHL teams took an interest in him during the last scouting year, along with his remarkable hockey skills. In an interview with cbc.ca, he cited the Islanders’ team: "That's one thing they mentioned about me and how involved [I am] with my family and they really love that about me."
BCS Director of Athletics Jeff Bray shares that sentiment and is happy to see all the hard work paying off. “Noah’s continued progress in his hockey career since leaving BCS has been exceptional. We are so pleased for Noah and after winning the Memorial Cup this spring with the Titan, followed by being drafted, it is so great to see an awesome young man move ever closer to his dreams and fulfillment of his endless hard work.”
With hard work comes the need for some fun and balance, which Dobson also experienced at BCS. “I have lots of memories from my time at BCS, meeting so many great people and staff. One thing that does stick out was my fall crease: soccer. Adam (McCormick, BCS’18), Todd (Johnston, BCS’18), and I all played together, but we weren’t very good,” he laughed. “So, we just had fun and enjoyed it, passing the time before the hockey season started.”
McCormick, Dobson’s former BCS teammate and fellow Maritimes native, was invited to the Dallas Stars’ development camp. McCormick has spent the last two seasons with the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, putting in impressive performances and landing on many scouts’ radar.
With three players recently selected during the 2018 QMJHL draft, and two 2018 graduates signed with Carleton Place of the CCHL for next season, the BCS Hockey program shows no signs of slowing down. And all current and future BCS hockey teams will be looking up to the former #8 as to what can be achieved when you are willing to work for it.
“From the BCS Athletics Department, all those who coached Noah and watched over him in his residence while at BCS, we wish him continued success in the coming season and we will be watching with excited interest as he moves ever closer to donning the Islanders jersey.” - Jeff Bray