Jonathan Pitre’s name lives on at Ottawa Senators development camp

PHOTOGRAPH BY George Harrold / Barcroft Media

 

Tina Boileau did her best to hold back tears Monday as Brady Tkachuk and Parker Kelly were named co-winners of the first Jonathan Pitre Award as the hardest-working players in Ottawa Senators development camp.

Pitre, Boileau’s son, died in April, but not before his courageous fight against the pain of epidermolysis bullosa, an excruciatingly painful and debilitating skin disease, captured the attention of the city, the country and large parts of the hockey world.

Jonathan Pitre intently signs a one-day contract to be a Senators scout in November 2014. A passionate Senators fan, Pitre died in April. Tony Caldwell/Postmedia Tony Caldwell / Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency

Pitre was a passionate fan and the Senators wanted to honour him by attaching his name to the coveted prize.

“I’m honoured,” Boileau said after a video of Pitre played for the Senators prospects. “The award is bittersweet, no matter what, and seeing the video ahead of time, and then you have to present something … These kids work hard and they deserve this. I know Jonathan would by very proud of each and every one of them.”

Boileau also said there were “no words to describe” the pride she felt in having the award named after Jonathan.

Brady Tkachuk was drafted fourth overall by the Senators in Dallas on June 22. Tony Caldwell/Postmedia Tony Caldwell / OttSunWP

Tkachuk, the fourth overall selection in the National Hockey League draft in Dallas on June 22, who has impressed with his work ethic and willingness to learn something from every situation, called it a “huge honour” to have his name beside Pitre’s.

“I didn’t have the chance to meet him in person, but, from the video and (hearing) from guys in the past, he seemed like such a great kid,” Tkachuk said. “It’s going to be pretty special to me.”

Kelly, undersized (5-10, 170 pounds) and undrafted, has worked and willed his way into legitimate prospect status. Last season, he scored 29 goals and 30 assists with Prince Albert of the Western Hockey League and Belleville of the American Hockey League.

“I’ve always kind of been the underdog, I guess,”Kelly said. “It’s kind of the way I’ve been raised. You’ve got to work for everything. That’s just kind of my background and lifestyle.”

Senators general manager Pierre Dorion told the prospects they had a “golden opportunity” because of the team’s new focus on younger players and added they should use Tkachuk and Kelly as role models.

“When you’re thinking about working out this summer and how you’re going to act, think about these two guys who are outworking you right now,” Dorion said. “Try to outwork them.”

Source :

Ottawa Sun

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