Lewisporte native expected to go in first round of QMJHL draft
Lucas Batt was second in team scoring for the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Saskatchewan this season with 15 goals and 38 points. - Submitted photo
Lucas Batt is from small town Newfoundland, but he'd never before been to a place as tiny as Wilcox, Sask.
Located about 41 kilometres south of Regina, Wilcox is well known for being the home of the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, a boarding school for students in Grades 9-12, but mostly for the hockey players it has produced such as Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Wendel Clark and Rod Brind'Amour, and Newfoundland's own Teddy Purcell and Dwayne Norris.
Clearly, Batt, who hails from Lewisporte, didn't pick Wilcox for the night life.
He estimated that there are only about 30 houses and maybe 100 people in the community.
Batt said he chose Notre Dame because, "It's got a good hockey program and a lot of big names have been through there."
He also said it helps to be able to concentrate on your studies, as there is little else to do outside of practising and playing hockey.
Batt said the fact that fellow Newfoundlander Kris Hodge of Conception Bay South was already playing at Notre Dame also influenced his decision to go west.
"It helped that there was someone I already knew there. It kind of motivated me a little more.
"It was a little bit weird when I got there, but after a while I got used to it. I settled down with the hockey and the place just grew on me," said Batt.
"He worked out well," Argos coach Del Pedrick said of Batt.
"He's big and strong on his skates. And he skates as well as anybody."
And Pedrick also likes Batt's physical style play.
"He sticks his nose in and as a result, he goes to the tough areas and gets rewarded with some goals."
The Argos rookie finished second in team scoring with 15 goals and 38 points with 94 penalty minutes in 42 games. He picked up four assists in eight playoff games as his team was knocked out in the Saskatchewan AAA Midget Hockey League semifinals.
Batt is listed by Central Scouting as an A1 player for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) draft in June 9 in Quebec City, which means he is a potential first-round pick.
"We'll see where that takes me in June," he said.
The five-foot 11, 164-pound forward said he needs to get a little stronger for the next level of play, and work on making better and quicker decisions with the puck.
He calls it having, "better puck purpose."
As to how well Batt will do in the QMJHL, Pedrick says, "I think it depends on what team, where he goes and the situation. He's a guy who is going to need to play some minutes to get a little more comfortable."
Batt, whose long term goal is to play in the NHL, said he would recommend his school to anyone in Newfoundland because of the coaching and the calibre of hockey.
Newfoundland and Labrador players listed by Central Scouting for the Quebec Major Hockey League midget draft June 9 at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City:
° Lucas Batt, Lewisporte, Notre Dame Argos
° Clark Bishop, St. John's Pennecon Privateers
° Cody Donaghey, St. John's Maple Leafs
° Liam Hynes, Paradise, Toronto Red Wings
° Kyle Tibbo, St. John's Maple Leafs
° Nathan Yetman, St. John's Maple Leafs
° Alexander Snow, Central IcePak
° Tyler Whiffen, Central IcePak
° Marcus Cuomo, St. John's Privateers
° Joshua Fitzgerald, Central IcePak
° Cody Drover, Central IcePak
° Luke McCaw, St. John's Privateers
° Bradley Power, St. John's Maple Leafs
° Peter Kavanagh, St. John's Privateers
° Matthew Kennedy, St. John's Privateers
° Tyler Boland, St. John's Maple Leafs
° Matthew Caines, St. John's Privateers
° Lee Dower, St. John's Privateers
° Chad Jones, Western Kings
° Stephen LeDrew, St. John's Privateers
° Michael Moret, St. John's Maple Leafs
° Brett Vokey, St. John's Privateers
° Tanner Whiffen, St. John's Maple Leafs