Flyers Prospect Watch: Forward Pascal Laberge opens up on injury and road to redemption

Pascal Laberge, Jack Kopacka, Luke Green
Team Orr’s Pascal Laberge, Jack Kopacka and Luke Green celebrate Laberge’s goal against Team Cherry during the third period of the CHL/NHL top prospects hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Let’s get this party started. Let’s get this party started already with the upcoming NHL season. The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to redeem themselves after missing the playoffs last season. Finally, we shall begin to see some of the young prospects begin to make an impact with the big club.

It’s no secret that the Flyers have struggled offensively the past few seasons. In the coming years of Flyers hockey, we will continue to see some of these young high profile offensively talented prospects make strides with the big club. One prospect that is no stranger to the Flyers top brass or Flyers fans, is Forward Pascal Laberge. Unfortunately, he had his 2016-17 season cut short do to a severe concussion. I was fortunate enough to talk with Laberge last month and he is determined to put his unfortunate injury behind him to continue his dream of playing in the NHL.

Laberge was born April 9,1998, in Chateaguay, CAN. He was drafted by the Flyers in 2016 in the 2nd Round of the NHL Draft. Laberge had a career year for the Victoriaville Tigres in 2015-16 and it caught the Flyers eye. He registered 23 goals, and 45 assists for a total of 68 points in 56 games played. After a great season, just how did Laberge get to this point in his career?

My Dad and Grandfather. I couldn’t speak anything but good about them. They have been amazing for my development. They just keep wanting me to get better. My Dad and Grandfather have made so many sacrifices for me.

Laberge continued, “To become a member in the NHL, you work so hard to train, practice, and play. To get to that type of level would be amazing. I’m happy and I’m fortunate at the opportunity I’ve been given.”

The young prospect wanted to make an impact for the Tigres in the 2016-17 season. Laberge solidified his draft status the prior season for the Tigres, and he wanted to prove to the Flyers he belonged in the NHL. However, after playing in just 46 games, he sustained a concussion. His stats were decent, registering 12 goals, and 20 assists for a total of 32 points in 46 games played. The concussion was a big hurdle to overcome.

This past year was a decent year, but not what I wanted it to be. My concussion got in the way of that. The points stats weren’t there. It was hard dealing with that concussion. It was a feeling I’ve never felt before. The concussion was one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with as a player. So, I’m going to rebound from prior year, and hopefully the Flyers see that.”

The dedicated prospect continues, “This year I’m going to continue to work in the offseason and train hard because I want to get better.

This young Tigres product, Laberge enjoys the simple things in life. It gives him a good feeling on the ice, which leads to his great puck handling skills. He has a lethal shot, and it appears that he loves picking the corners of the net. Just who is this young stud?

Well I love sushi (Laughing). I’m pretty good at skating and puck handling. I don’t shoot too much in the offseason because you need a break. I go to the gym and train a lot. I try to get bigger and stronger. I want to get better to make my goal of the NHL. I’m hoping one day.”

The path to the NHL took an uncertain path after Laberge’s injury. However, he is very talented and looked great this past weekend at the Flyers developmental camp in Voorhees, NJ. Laberge leaves us with this unique message.

I’m a passionate and dedicated player. When I make the Flyers, I know where I come from. I’m hardworking, and hopefully with the Flyers and Tigres I can show that.”


Mandatory Photo Credit: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP