He has experienced both the highs and lows over the past 10 years as he chased his hockey dream, like many other boys who lace up the blades at a tender age and take to the game.
Yes, Ethan Crossman knows and joys and heartbreaks that go with hockey.
One positive that has come out of all this has been a better understanding of life in its many forms. And during a period of contemplation he came up with the idea of using his experience on the ice to create his own business which he appropriately named Jagged Journey.
Setting up the crested clothing business – dealing with government bureaucracy and with suppliers – has proven a learning experience and brought with it a new maturity.
From the moment Ethan first laced on a pair of skates he was a star. Blessed with speed, quickness and a talent for finding the back of opposing nets it wasn’t long before professional scouts were looking, checking statistics and loving what they saw.
He proved to be a phenomenon in Sackville minor hockey circles, easily outclassing those in his age group, but since then it has been an interesting journey.
After leading Sackville to the championship at the SEDMHA atom tournament, he stepped up to the Moncton AAA ranks and continued to set records and amaze the opposition with his special tools.
He led the bantam AAA Moncton team to the NB-PEI championship with the highest number of points, and then decision time came. Should he move up to midget at 15 or, as he finally did, opt to attend the famous Father Bauer hockey school at Notre Dame, Sask?
After a year at the midget level in Saskatchewan he was drafted and signed with Moncton Wildcats.
Recently he indicated that at 16 he wasn’t prepared to make the jump, and after having little opportunity was traded to Quebec Remparts. Here, too, things didn’t click as hoped and he was sent to Woodstock of the Maritime junior league where he lit things up on a regular basis. Back with Quebec the following season he was traded to Acadie-Bathurst Titan and was an instrumental force in the New Brunswick team winning both the President’s Trophy and the Memorial Cup.
Ethan brought the Memorial Cup for showing in his home town last year, but Titan management decided to tear down the Canadian champs and Ethan was traded to the Baie Comeau Drakkar. The team finished fourth overall in the Q League with the Sackville product contributing regularly.
“We really thought we might have a shot at winning the Memorial Cup this year,” he said recently, “but against Moncton we ran into a red-hot goalie and the results are obvious.”
Actually, the Drakkar outshot the Wildcats about two-to-one but packed it in early and went home to nurse some sounded pride.
So what does the future hold for this young man who has gone about as far as any other Sackville hockey player? Only Hartley Estabrooks managed to win a championship at that level and went on to perform several seasons in the pro ranks before returning to Moncton where he was a top performer with senior and intermediate teams and joined the local Combines on their run to a Maritime championship.
While pursuing his “jagged journey” Ethan has not been idle. He has continued to pursue his education and has completed several university credits and knows that someday a degree will be a requirement if he is to continue to enjoy the good life.
At the moment he plans to spend his final year of eligibility with the Drakkar and, hopefully, have his name announced in the professional draft. But that is far from all on his agenda.
During this off season he will be combing a number of projects. High on this list will be working and learning his father’s business – Fundy Environmental and Fabrication Services – continuing his university studies and developing his Jagged Journey business.
“I think it is important to learn as much as I can about a variety of things,” he says. He added that in previous summers he has been employed working with children but now it’s time to be more serious and learn the workings of business.