The first round of the 2019 National Hockey League Entry Draft was held June 21st, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. A little after 7:49 PM local time, Calgary Flames general manger Brad Treliving stepped up to the podium for the 26th overall pick and spoke the words Jakob Pelletier had been hoping to hear his entire life.
“And with our first selection, from Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Jakob Pelletier,” announced Treliving. The 18-year old Quebec City native sprung up from his seat, smiling from ear-to-ear, and made his way down to the draft floor.
Pelletier, ranked 27th for North American skaters by Central Scouting, could not be more thrilled to don the red and white as part of the Calgary Flames.
“I think it’s just amazing. It’s incredible. Just to get drafted, it’s a dream come true,” Pelletier said.
In 65 QMJHL regular season games with the Moncton Wildcats, Pelletier fired home 39 goals and added 50 assists for a total of 89 points. That came on the heels of an impressive rookie season in which he notched 61 points and more than a point-per-game pace to earn a spot on the QMJHL All-Rookie Team. The left-winger also appeared twice on the international stage with Team Canada – first at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he tallied two points in four games en route to a gold medal finish, then later earning a spot on the Canadian squad at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship. Although he has put up strong offensive numbers over his two seasons in the Q, Pelletier is especially known for his competitive spirit.
“We’ve gotten to know him a lot and what we love about him is his competitive spirit,” said the Flames GM. “We asked, ‘why you,’ and he said, ‘because I’m going to win the Stanley Cup.’”
“I think I’m a small guy who can play big,” offered Pelletier. “I’m a competitor and can play at both ends of the ice. They asked me what separates you from the others and I said, ‘I’m a winner and I want to win and I’m going to do whatever it takes to win.’”
“He’s going to play in the guts of the game and bang away in the crease. He’s a high-end competitor and high-end thinker. He’s ultra smart,” explained Treliving, “his worth ethic and will and want and competitiveness are off the charts and he’s got skill.”