There's a lot of pride rippling out from Pictou Island this week as news spreads about Jacob Bernard-Docker's success.
Bernard-Docker was picked No. 26 in the first round of the NHL Draft over the weekend by the Ottawa Senators.
Grandparents Ray Docker and Corinne Cameron who live on Pictou Island said they suspected he would be picked in the draft but were pleasantly surprised how early his name was called.
"We're pretty excited," Cameron said. "We were quite confident that he’d be drafted at some point, but we never thought he’d go in the first round."
While Bernard-Docker's family lives in Canmore, Alta., Pictou County has remained very much a part of their life.
"He’s spent every summer of his life on Pictou County," Cameron said.
This summer will actually be the first time they're unsure if he can make it.
He'll be leaving Dallas, where the 2018 draft was held, and travelling to Ottawa right away for Ottawa Senators summer camp. He'll even miss his high school graduation. But hockey has always been a priority for Jacob.
"He's very committed, very dedicated, focused and disciplined," Cameron said.
Even when on summer vacation on Pictou Island he remained physically active, working out twice a day with cardio mixed in.
"All the islanders are very proud of him because they’ve seen him running the island back and forth," Cameron said.
Bernard-Docker has committed to play for the University of North Dakota this fall and will likely play for that team until he's called up. He will be studying sciences there with an interest in medicine.
"I can see him someday as a sports doctor," Cameron said.
For now, though, his family is just proud of how much he's accomplished already and look forward to seeing him play professionally someday.
Bernard-Docker has spent the last two seasons playing for the Okotoks Oilers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Last season he impressed scouts by scoring 41 points including 20 goals in 49 games as a defencemen.
"He's a pretty special player," said Tyler Deis, who coached Bernard-Docker the last two seasons, in an interview with North Dakota newspaper Inforum. "He's a right-handed defenceman who plays 200 feet. He's as good in his zone as he is in the offensive zone. He moves the puck well, jumps into plays and he can skate.
"I had an inkling that he might get picked here in the first round, to be honest. He's a pretty cool player, so the possibility was there. I kind of figured he might. It's a special time for him and his family and it's well deserved. This guy works hard."
Born: June 30, 2000
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Height: 6 ft 0 in
Weight: 187 lb
AJHL team: Okotoks Oilers
NHL Draft: 26th overall, 2018