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Parker becomes a Panther


CHARLOTTETOWN – Nick Parker knew he would be playing hockey, he just didn’t know where.

When he left the Pictou County Weeks Crushers at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, the end of his junior career, his goal was to continue playing hockey on the east coast. Specifically he wanted to play in the AUS (Atlantic University Sport). At the time his main option was Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston, Ont.).  

As the summer was drawing to a close he had a discussion with UPEI coach Forbes MacPherson about joining the Panthers up front this season – exactly the news he wanted to hear.

“I talked to RMC and it seemed like a pretty good situation there, so I started to get that process done and then mid-August I had to be registered in a reserve unit, but I was so late when I talked to them that they didn’t think I’d be able to get all that done by the deadline,” he said. “They said to explore some other options and probably an hour after that conversation the coach from UPEI gave me a call and we worked it out. Later that day I decided UPEI is where I wanted to go.”

His three seasons in a Crushers uniform are the reason he believes he has the opportunity with the Panthers. After time with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons it was off to the MHL. He posted over 50 points a season in each year with Pictou County after only three goals and nine points in 56 regular season games with Cape Breton in 2010-11.

“I had played two years of major junior and never really had a shot like I would’ve wanted,” said Parker. “When I came to Pictou I got that shot from Jason (Malone) and I was happy with how the last two or three seasons ended up. It would’ve been nice to go a little further in the playoffs with them, but overall I was happy with how I played.

I like to say I’m a hard-working guy and that’s one of the things I try to do every game and hope someone notices it.

“I think the last two years a couple people have and it’s worked out for me.”

Right now he said it’s unclear how much time he’ll be getting as the regular season unfolds, but he isn’t focused on that. Being a rookie he expects he’ll have to earn every minute he gets and wants to learn from the returning players.

“When I was in Pictou I got to be on the ice a lot and was used in pretty much every situation on the ice,” said Parker. “My coaches trusted me and it allowed me to get some confidence in my game and work on things I’ve known I’ve always had to work on. I’ll continue to keep doing that at UPEI in practice and games and hopefully keep on improving over the next four years.

“I’m going to have to work for everything I get, just like I had to when I was 16 and there’s not going to be anything given to me without a lot of work.”

The 21-year-old will continue to study business administration, which he started at St. FX during his time with the Crushers. He said he has settled on accounting as his specialty.

Overall he’s most happy about the fact he gets to play hockey close to home and in arguably the best conference in Canadian university hockey.

“It is such a respected league in Canada and there’s always good teams coming out of it and there’s always a good team at nationals,” he said. “I wanted to have an opportunity at that somewhere, so that’s kind of what I’ve been working towards through junior and I’m pretty excited for that this year.”

 

By the numbers

Regular season stats

Ridley College

2009-10: 9 GP  3 G  6 A  9 Pts.

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

2009-10: 8 GP  0 G  1 A  1 Pt.

2010-11: 56 GP  3 G  6 A  9 Pts.

Weeks Crushers

2011-12: 49 GP  28 G  23 A  51 Pts.

2012-13: 52 GP  26 G  39 A  65 Pts.

2013-14: 51 GP  33 G  31 A  64 Pts.

Playoff stats

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

2010-11: 4 GP  0 G  0 A  0 Pts.

Weeks Crushers

2011-12: 2 GP  2 G  1 A  3 Pts.

2012-13: 9 GP  8 G  4 A  12 Pts.

2013-14: 11 GP  10 G  1 A  11 Pts.

When he left the Pictou County Weeks Crushers at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, the end of his junior career, his goal was to continue playing hockey on the east coast. Specifically he wanted to play in the AUS (Atlantic University Sport). At the time his main option was Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston, Ont.).  

As the summer was drawing to a close he had a discussion with UPEI coach Forbes MacPherson about joining the Panthers up front this season – exactly the news he wanted to hear.

“I talked to RMC and it seemed like a pretty good situation there, so I started to get that process done and then mid-August I had to be registered in a reserve unit, but I was so late when I talked to them that they didn’t think I’d be able to get all that done by the deadline,” he said. “They said to explore some other options and probably an hour after that conversation the coach from UPEI gave me a call and we worked it out. Later that day I decided UPEI is where I wanted to go.”

His three seasons in a Crushers uniform are the reason he believes he has the opportunity with the Panthers. After time with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons it was off to the MHL. He posted over 50 points a season in each year with Pictou County after only three goals and nine points in 56 regular season games with Cape Breton in 2010-11.

“I had played two years of major junior and never really had a shot like I would’ve wanted,” said Parker. “When I came to Pictou I got that shot from Jason (Malone) and I was happy with how the last two or three seasons ended up. It would’ve been nice to go a little further in the playoffs with them, but overall I was happy with how I played.

I like to say I’m a hard-working guy and that’s one of the things I try to do every game and hope someone notices it.

“I think the last two years a couple people have and it’s worked out for me.”

Right now he said it’s unclear how much time he’ll be getting as the regular season unfolds, but he isn’t focused on that. Being a rookie he expects he’ll have to earn every minute he gets and wants to learn from the returning players.

“When I was in Pictou I got to be on the ice a lot and was used in pretty much every situation on the ice,” said Parker. “My coaches trusted me and it allowed me to get some confidence in my game and work on things I’ve known I’ve always had to work on. I’ll continue to keep doing that at UPEI in practice and games and hopefully keep on improving over the next four years.

“I’m going to have to work for everything I get, just like I had to when I was 16 and there’s not going to be anything given to me without a lot of work.”

The 21-year-old will continue to study business administration, which he started at St. FX during his time with the Crushers. He said he has settled on accounting as his specialty.

Overall he’s most happy about the fact he gets to play hockey close to home and in arguably the best conference in Canadian university hockey.

“It is such a respected league in Canada and there’s always good teams coming out of it and there’s always a good team at nationals,” he said. “I wanted to have an opportunity at that somewhere, so that’s kind of what I’ve been working towards through junior and I’m pretty excited for that this year.”

 

By the numbers

Regular season stats

Ridley College

2009-10: 9 GP  3 G  6 A  9 Pts.

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

2009-10: 8 GP  0 G  1 A  1 Pt.

2010-11: 56 GP  3 G  6 A  9 Pts.

Weeks Crushers

2011-12: 49 GP  28 G  23 A  51 Pts.

2012-13: 52 GP  26 G  39 A  65 Pts.

2013-14: 51 GP  33 G  31 A  64 Pts.

Playoff stats

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

2010-11: 4 GP  0 G  0 A  0 Pts.

Weeks Crushers

2011-12: 2 GP  2 G  1 A  3 Pts.

2012-13: 9 GP  8 G  4 A  12 Pts.

2013-14: 11 GP  10 G  1 A  11 Pts.

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