It takes a certain type of athlete to want to strap on the pads.
But the allure of goaltending is what drew Benjamin Gaudreau to hockey at an early age, and that passion has only grown in the ensuing years as the Corbeil, Ont., native now stands in the blue paint with the Sarnia Sting.
Originally chosen seventh overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, Gaudreau stepped into the junior ranks last season in impressive fashion, coming away with a phenomenal 49-save debut performance against the Barrie Colts to help the Sting record their first win of the season.
Gaudreau reflected on his first season, some of his goaltending idols, and more in the latest edition of the CHL Sunday Spotlight presented by WINMAR:
What drew you to the goaltending position as a young athlete?
The energy of making a save and being the last line of defence is what drew me to goaltending.
Which NHL goalie do you model your game after and why?
I model my game after Carey Price and Andrei Vasilevskiy. They have a combination of calmness and athleticism that I believe complement each other really well and it allows for me to be who I am.
What is it like to represent Northern Ontario?
There is definitely a pride in being from Northern Ontario. Hockey is a pretty big part of our culture up here so it is pretty awesome being able to represent that.
What was it like to face 50 shots in your first-ever game?
It was awesome getting to face 50 shots in my first game in getting to feel the puck and getting settled in. I think it really helped me to play my game and get the win.
What is it like to be considered a top goaltending prospect for the coming NHL Draft?
It’s definitely an honour to be considered one of the top goalie prospects. It’s something I have worked for my entire life so to see my dreams coming true is definitely an honour and it’s awesome.