The Dalhousie Tigers have landed a major building block in an effort to revive their men’s hockey program.
The Tigers announced yesterday that highly regarded P.E.I. Rocket goaltender Bobby Nadeau is headed to Dalhousie next season, the first of what head coach Pete Belliveau hopes will be a series of big-name recruits this off-season.
The Tigers have missed the playoffs five straight seasons since winning national bronze in 2004 in Fredericton, N.B., and have lost a stunning 113 of their past 140 games.
“I think Bobby Nadeau is the start of the process here,” said Belliveau, who won a national title with the Moncton Aigles Bleus in 1995. “I think he’s the top 20-year-old in the QMJHL. It’s his skill, character and mental toughness.”
Nadeau, who won the Jacques Plante Trophy as top QMJHL goalie in 2007-08, posted a 3.24 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage in 56 starts with P.E.I.
Belliveau said Nadeau maintains an A average in courses at the University of Prince Edward Island and wants to pursue a career in dentistry at Dalhousie. He describes Nadeau as “the kind of person we want to associate ourselves with.”
The Tigers are also working on recruiting Cape Breton Screaming Eagles star Robert Slaney, a high-scoring power forward who is interested in pursuing a career in medicine.
Belliveau, who joined the Tigers last season and went 4-23-1, would only say that he has “a lot of lines in the water” and that he hopes Nadeau’s commitment helps.
“It might be a domino effect,” said Belliveau. “He has a lot of friends in the Q who are very, very good hockey players. We might get more recruits through him.”
Nadeau will battle for starting duty next season with fourth-year incumbent Josh Disher, who posted a 5.41 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage in 23 starts.