Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Joe Veleno's Hockey Career In Canada

08/01/2019 at 6:01pm EDT

from the CP at Sportsnet,

There have been moments in Joe Veleno’s young hockey career where he questioned the decision. At the time, however, it was all he wanted.

The native of Kirkland, Que., had just registered a 16-goal, 52-point season in 41 games with his midget-AAA team in 2014-15, and felt ready for a big leap forward.

The sport’s national body eventually agreed, granting Veleno exceptional status — a first in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League — and paving the way for the 15-year-old to be selected No. 1 overall by the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Veleno joined a select group that includes John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid in getting the nod from Hockey Canada to play major junior 12 months earlier than the rest of his age group.

But some eyebrows were raised at the decision because the centre, while the youngest member of his midget team, hadn’t even led the club in scoring and wasn’t particularly big at six feet and 168 pounds.

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