Team Canada national team goalie prospect Ève Gascon has been invited to training camp with the QMJHL's Gatineau Olympiques.
If you've followed the women's hockey scene in recent years, you know all too well what Gascon brings to the table. She had an excellent run with Canada's U-18 team in 2019, winning silver after a magnificent four-game stretch.
Gascon is also the only goalie woman goaltender to be a starter in the top Quebec midget league, spending two seasons with the College Esther-Blondin Phenix before getting shut out of play last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"She isn't a big goalie, but her athleticism really makes up for it," a Quebec-area scout said. "She's going to be part of the next generation of women's hockey stars."
Her work with youth hockey organizations in Quebec earned her Hockey Canada's Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award for 2020. The award is given annually to "an active female player who demonstrates dedication to and leadership in the game." Canadian hockey legend Marie-Philip Poulin was the most recent recipient.
If Gascon, an NCAA commit, was to play a QMJHL game, she wouldn't be the first woman to do so. Manon Rheaume and Charline Labonte both have done so previously, but as Labonte said in an interview back in 2019 with Hockey Canada, she has full confidence that Gascon will become a star.
“I don’t want to be biased, but I feel she is the next one,” Labonté said. “She is taking it step by step, but everywhere she has been she has been successful.”
The one wrinkle, though, is Gascon's NCAA commitment with the University of Minnesota Duluth. Playing in the QMJHL would void that commitment. Eight goalies will participate in Olympiques camp, including last year's No. 1 goaltender, Remi Poirier.
The Olympiques opened up training camp on Monday and will begin a slate of 10 pre-season games on Thursday.