It should come as no surprise that education has always been important to Nicolas Laplante.
After all, the former junior hockey forward, who in 2004 captured the Marcel-Robert Trophy as the QMJHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year, has always been committed to the classroom.
“I had an American Hockey League tryout when I was 19,” Laplante, who played four seasons with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Victoriaville Tigres, told Junior Hockey Magazine as part of its CHL Leaders segment. “But with the CHL scholarship, education was always a priority, although hockey was as well. That was my plan as soon as I saw that you either go to the minors or still play some good hockey while getting an education. For me, that was definitely the best option.”
Laplante attended the University of Moncton, where he earned a bachelor of business administration in marketing while also suiting up for four years with the Blue Eagles in the Atlantic University Sport conference.
Today, he serves as territory manager with Big Erics Inc., an Atlantic Canada-based foodservice distributor.
“We’re a supplier for commercial kitchens. We do restaurants from head to toe, so from design and all the gear that goes with it,” Laplante detailed. “I look after Prince Edward Island. It’s super busy as a tourism province. The job is great and super busy. I have been in sales for almost 11 years now coming out of university.”
The work makes for hectic days, not dissimilar to Laplante’s time in the QMJHL, when a jam-packed schedule forced him to quickly hone his time management abilities.
“It was a crazy learning curve,” Laplante recalled. “You get in there at 15 years old and you’re just a kid. I got drafted to Bathurst, so coming from a small town of St-Georges-Beauce, that was definitely an adjustment but it was awesome.
“I learned lots. You definitely need to be organized. That was a big one when I played, especially in Bathurst because we were doing our schooling through distance. You’re juggling practices, games, and still having to perform in school, and doing that all by distance, so being organized was key.”
Listen to Nicolas Laplante’s full interview with Junior Hockey Magazine here.