Alexis Dubé has to pinch himself every day to make sure he’s not dreaming.
The Acadie-Bathurst forward is savoring every moment of his new life in the QMJHL. And nobody has to twist his arm when the time comes to go represent the team in the community.
The 17-year-old rookie recently took part in a blood drive in Bathurst. It was his first taste of such an experience.
“The person in charge of the team’s marketing was looking for players to go and so I volunteered to be there. Just having the chance to help other and giving blood is really important. It can save lives,” says the forward. “You never know when or who might need it.”
“I was a little nervous at first, but everything went really well. It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined! There were a few players there and we had a lot of fun.”
Dubé says he really loved being the team’s ambassador for a day.
“People thanked us for participating in the event,” he recalls. “They were saying that not everybody is ready to give blood. It’s still something that’s kind of scary for a lot of people.”
After such a fun experience in the city of Bathurst, he will absolutely do this again in the future.
“The team makes sure that we have good visibility in our community. We know it’s important to develop strong ties with our fans,” he admits. “I’m pretty busy with school and hockey, but as soon as I have a chance, I will find time to be a part of these events.”
And even when it’s not an activity that’s put together by the team, Alexis Dubé loves to spend time with young Titan fans.
“There are many other players from the team in my neighbourhood and we often go outside to play street hockey with all the kids in the area”, explains the rookie winger. “It’s always a good time to play with them.”
“When I was growing up in Saint-Quentin (in Northern New Brunswick), I would have loved to have major junior caliber players come play with us. You can see it in their eyes that it means a lot to them. We’re sort of idols to them… so we let the win from time to time!”, laughs Dubé.
“We have to realize that these kids are coming to see us play with their parents. They make up our fan base. So sometimes, it’s our turn to go out and support them. If we want them to show up in large number to our games, we have to do our part.”
Despite being in only his first year in the Q, Dubé seems to already have grasped what role he can play in his community. The skilled right winger is the first to go out of his way to meet fans after home games.
‘There are usually a lot of kids waiting for us, to get autographs, or to have their picture taken with us. It’s always a lot of fun for me to meet them,” he says. “I try to watch what the veterans do, so I can follow in their footsteps in the future.”
Alexis Dubé says he realizes more than ever the importance of building a strong relationship with hockey fans in the area.
“Even if this isn’t an easy season for us, people are still showing up to offer their support. I can assure them that we’ll never give up. We want people in our community to be proud of us!”
By the way he’s conducting himself already, there’s no doubt that Alexis Dubé has something to be proud of!