It has been quite a summer vacation for Pierre-Olivier Joseph. And it’s only July.
On July 1, he turned 18-years-old.
Eight days prior to that, Joseph was drafted 23rd overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Arizona Coyotes.
He will never forget the moment his name was called, and the overwhelming support he received before and after being drafted.
“The support that everyone gave me was unreal,” Joseph said. “I am grateful to have all these people behind me and wanting me to succeed.”
After all the interviews, photos and handshakes on that Friday night, things were just beginning for PO.
“We left right after the draft to go directly to Arizona and to be able to meet the guys over there, the fans and people in the organization were some really nice moments as well.”
Four days after being drafted by the Coyotes, Joseph was already a part of the Arizona community as he threw out the first pitch at an Arizona Diamondbacks game.
“JOSEPH” was written on the back of a Diamondbacks jersey, and he appeared calm, cool and collected. But he admits to being nervous.
“To be on the field with that amount of people in the stands watching you and hoping you didn’t miss the glove made for a nervous but awesome moment. It’s a one-time event that I will remember forever.”
The Arizona Coyotes Development Camp took place just days after being drafted and it was quite a week for Joseph.
“Meeting the prospects, meeting the staff around the team. Everything was really special. The people who were at their first pro camp were all excited to jump on the ice. I had the chance to stay for a second week that was dedicated to power skating and extra training with the trainers. After those two weeks, I can say that I learned a lot and I look forward to what is next.”
With his name called and his first development camp under his belt, Joseph now focuses on improving his game and continuing to do the right thing.
“I think the main thing to think about is how I can be better than the day before. How can I be a better player, a better person, better teammate? I think you can improve with that mentality. Obviously, we all have specific things to work on to improve our overall game. I want to get bigger and stronger everyday more than the day before. But with thinking positive, having people around to support you and believing in yourself, you are going to reach where you to want to reach.”
Joseph is now the highest drafted Charlottetown Islander/PEI Rocket ever, and is the first to go in the first round.
He has proven himself every day on the ice and off. From being selected in the 5th round (78th overall) by the Charlottetown Islanders, to being taken in the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft: Pierre-Olivier Joseph is the perfect example that hard-work and a positive attitude make all the difference.
Written by Darcy Cudmore