The Nanaimo Clippers will start a new season with a new No. 1 goalie.
In a surprise move, the Shipmen shipped off incumbent Loic Boivin to Quebec’s St-Jérome Panthers over the weekend in exchange for future considerations.
It means Charles-Andre Pelletier is the new No. 1 in Nanaimo.
“He’s a real good goaltender. He took the starting job away,” said Bill Bestwick, Clippers general manager. “It was clear to us … that Pelletier was outperforming all of our goaltenders in camp including Boivin.”
Boivin was an all-star last season, posting a 3.11 goals-against average and an .891 save percentage. But the team said all along that training camp would be competitive, and Pelletier’s performance in the pre-season games convinced the Clippers that the newcomer is ready.
“He was outstanding in Victoria. He played the puck extremely well, made the game really easy for our defencemen,” said Bestwick.
Pelletier was excited about earning the spot, saying any goalie wants to be the starter.
“I didn’t know that it would be very fast like this, the No. 1 goalie now,” he said. “I didn’t know that, but I’m very very excited for that. Even if Boivin stayed here, during the year I would try to be the No. 1 anyway.”
The 18-year-old Pelletier played junior AAA last season in Quebec with Longueuil, near his hometown of St-Hubert. He describes his style as a hybrid.
“I’m not always on my knees; I’m not always up,” he said. “I can move fast, I’m technical too and when sometimes you’ve got to be non-technical, like a desperate save or something like that, I can do that, too.”
Charles-Alexy Premont will be the team’s backup. The Clippers had released Premont after Wednesday’s pre-season game, but he agreed to come back.