For the moment at least his hockey future is in limbo. He has been advised to report to the Quebec Remparts by mid-August in order to attend their pre-season training camp in preparation for competition in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Ethan has experienced two disappointing seasons since being drafted by the Moncton Wildcats in 2015. After a short stint with Moncton he was traded to Quebec. This came following a year at Notre Dame in Saskatchewan.
Perhaps at the age of 16 he wasn’t prepared to make the leap from midget to the Q League but his struggles continued for the past two years. However, one question remains unanswered – he was the top scorer and point getter for Quebec in last season’s exhibition schedule and notched the first goal of the year in the first game of league play – but then disappeared from the score sheet.
In spite of his early accomplishments he was designated for the fourth line and thus seldom spent much time on the ice from that point onward.
Earlier, Ethan had been drafted by Miramichi Timberwolves of the Maritime Junior Hockey League and so he was shipped there in mid-season last year. Miramichi, in turn, traded him to Woodstock Slammers. In just 23 games he amassed 26 points and according to Will Lafford was one of the top forwards in the entire league.
Ethan Crossman became an overnight star in minor hockey and veteran coach Davis Richardson has often described him as the most talented player to ever come out of Sackville. He says Ethan has naturally “soft hands,” the ability to hit full speed in two strides and an uncanny ability to find the back of the net.
He led every league in which he played, including the NB-PEI Bantam AAA League. In addition he holds the all time goal scoring record for the major SEDMA tournament in Halifax in which he scored 26 goals in six games in leading the Sackville Atoms to the championship. So that is why Richardson has difficulty in accepting that he hasn’t easily made the transition to major junior hockey.
Asked if he thought his decision to attend Notre Dame rather than play major midget hockey in Moncton was the right one he said it definitely was as he matured so much while getting a solid education and lots of good coaching. He said he would have no reservations whatever in recommending this route for other young hockey players on their way up.
Ethan has already been accepted for studies at Mount Allison as he has maintained a solid average throughout high school. He joined 100 others recently to receive his graduation certificate from Tantramar Regional High School. He did two years of work via long distance through Tantramar.
Now just turned 18 and recently returned from Paris where he and his mom had a wonderful vacation, he is splitting his summer between coaching at a youth hockey camp in PEI and at a daycare in Dieppe.
So what about his hockey future? That could soon be decided. Should he make the lineup in Quebec and show the skills he did throughout minor hockey there is only a question of how far he could go. But it will take another outstanding showing and support by the Remparts for this to occur. But at 5’11” and 185 pounds he definitely has the size and strength to compete.
If for some reason his future is not in the professional ranks he no doubt will end up again in Woodstock. Now this could create an interesting scenario.
Will Lafford and Julian Galloway are already members of the Amherst Ramblers – wouldn’t it be a home run for Amherst if they could dicker a deal with Woodstock to reunite the three Sackville boys. And it could go even further – Liam Conrad is currently with Edmundston since that is where the former Dieppe team is located. Should Amherst be able to swing another deal to bring him home the situation should be set for a run for the league title.
There is no doubt that Kyle Ward will continue to play at the major junior level. He will be one of five 20-year-olds fighting for the limited number of berths with the Saint John Seadogs where he has been for the past two years but could likely land with another Q League squad if the decision was made to trade him. However, if he should decide to come home and line up with the Ramblers and continue his education at Mount Allison the table would really be set across the marsh.
Perhaps just a dream but one that should bring a lot of smiles to folks on both sides of the marsh. And the positive is that all have set their minds on obtaining the best possible post-secondary education possible. Congratulations on making such wise decisions!