| Habs draft pick signs with Stingers hockey team

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November 29, 2018 | Hockey (M)

Coach Marc-André Element welcomes defenceman Simon Bourque.Coach Marc-André Element welcomes defenceman Simon Bourque.

Habs draft pick signs with Stingers hockey team

Defenceman Simon Bourque, who was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL draft, has signed a letter of intent committing to the Concordia Stingers and will join the men's hockey team in January.

“I’m really excited,” said Stingers head coach Marc-André Element. “He’s going to have an immediate impact on our program and the league. He’s an exceptional player, student and leader. A lot of teams were after him and he chose Concordia.”

Bourque, a St. Lambert, Que. native, spent four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He was with the Rimouski Océanic most of his junior career but played part of his final season with the Saint John Sea Dogs. He played 248 games in the QMJHL picking up 40 goals and 109 assists for 149 points. He won two league championships and he was a second team all-star in 2016-17.

The following year Bourque played for the Canadiens’ American Hockey League farm team, the Laval Rocket. He had three assists in 46 games.

Bourque, who checks in at six-foot-one, 195 pounds, was traded to the Winnipeg Jets organization last June. In exchange Montreal received right-winger Joel Armia, goaltender Steve Mason, a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft and a fourth-round pick in 2020. The Jets assigned Bourque to their East Coast Hockey League team last month.

“The past year made me think about life,” Bourque said. “I’m passionate about hockey, but it’s not all there is to life. You have to have a plan for what comes after hockey. I want a university degree before I play more professional hockey.”

The 21-year-old plans to go to business school and bring his brand of hockey to the Stingers.

“I’m a two-way defenceman,” he said. “I don’t make a lot of mistakes in my end and I love to support the offence. I’m also a pretty good skater so I can always get back.”

Once university coaches realized Bourque was looking at playing U SPORTS hockey, there was a lot of interest in his services, but Concordia won out.

“I had a good meeting with (head coach) Marc-André and I realized it was a better fit for me at Concordia,” he said.