Sunday, October 20, 2019

Rafaël Harvey-Pinard Autographed Card

I've gotten so used to young NHLers entering the league taller than me at half my age that I was shocked to see how small Rafaël Harvey-Pinard was in person, perhaps smaller than his listed 5'9" and 161 pounds.

He had made the trek to the draft in Dallas for his first year of eligibility after a 76-point season (in 67 games) with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in 2017-18 only to be left undrafted; he earned an invitation to the Vegas Golden Knights' rookie camp, but ultimately couldn't stick with the team.

Instead, he went back to Juniors, was named the Huskies' captain, led them to the best record in Canada (59-8-1), collected 27 points in 20 playoff games to lead the team to the Presidents Cup (LHJMQ playoff championship) and had six points in five games as the Huskies went on to win the Memorial Cup as Canadian Juniors champions. The icing on the cake came when the Montréal Canadiens selected him in the seventh round (201st overall), joining Memorial Cup MVP and teammate Joël Teasdale in the Habs' prospects pool.

While he didn't stick in Montréal past the rookie camp, he enters his final year in the "Q" as captain of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens - his rights having changed hands over the summer - where he hopes to replicate last season's successes in his hometown, where he gets to sleep in his own bed in his parents' house. He has 10 points in 12 games so far, facing much more scrutiny from the opposition than in years past.

Here he is wearing the Huskies' old white (home) uniform, on card #235 from Upper Deck's 2017-18 CHL collection:
He signed it in (fading) blue sharpie at the Canadiens' practice facility this summer.

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