“It’s fun being compared to the Gallagher, but…”

Rafael Harvey Benard knows very well that a hockey career can end at any time.

To prepare for this possibility, the 23-year-old is currently studying at university while living his dream of playing at a professional level.

“You never know in advance how long you are going to play hockey. Anything can happen, your career can end at any time with an injury. These are things that can happen. I have always told myself that it is important to have a very good plan,” he explains. In the last “Woman of Hockey” podcast of the season, which was taped only through an audition elsewhere. It’s very rare to hear that! listen here :

Plan B: Get a degree in management. And why isn’t it also found in physical therapy?

“School has always been important to me and my family. My parents told me to always give 100%, whether at school or at a game of hockey. It still continues today.

“I would like to become a physiotherapist after my career, he revealed. I am also interested in management and finance, so I am continuing to do so and learning new things in the field.”

clear choice

This choice seems obvious when you know that the blood of entrepreneurs runs through his veins. Harvey Benard’s father already owns a pizzeria in Arveda, where Raphael spent his childhood.

Surprisingly, he does not claim to be fond of pizza, with the exception of his father’s pizza. “He is the only person I really like,” says the one who loves Putin the most. Shredded cheese or not? We do not know the answer!

Harvey Benard admits, however, that it is sometimes difficult to reconcile career and studies.

“It takes persistence, determination and discipline. Honestly, it’s not always easy to study hockey at the same time. After the podcast, I only have an exam. My preparations were cut short by being called up with the Canadians. It was unexpected, even though I knew it could happen at any time. .

We repeat, he is aware of the turning points that can await him.

dream come true

If Harvey-Pinard has spared no effort in his studies, then this is also the case on the ice.

His iron discipline and strength of character allowed him to realize his dream. The road to getting there may have been more difficult than expected, but what matters is the destination.

“Not everyone develops the same way. Everyone follows their own path. You have to go at your own pace and not put too much pressure on yourself.”

He had to wait in his third year of eligibility for the NHL draft before he finally found a buyer. To his surprise and overjoyed, it was the Canadians who picked him in the seventh round (#201 overall) in 2019. It could have been his pick too.

“When I was young, I watched every Habs game with my dad without exception. It was my dream to dress up as the Hab one day. I didn’t expect to be drafted into my third year of eligibility. It was a really nice surprise. I was in my living room when I heard it. I would have chosen the Canadians, that’s for sure.”

Since joining Habs, Harvey-Pinard has often been compared to Brendan Gallagher. Quebec also sees similarities, but wants to stay away from them.

“Gallager is an important player in the Canadians. He is an example. Every night he gives 150% and wants to make a difference. It’s ‘fun’ to be compared to him, but I’m not a Gallagher, I’m Harvey Bennard, he insists. We are two different players, but we are similar on certain points. I want to go my own way.”

ice on sundae

Without his distinctive perseverance, Harvey Benard might have simply given up hope. But it’s too bad to know.

“It was easy to say I would never enlist, but instead I rolled up my sleeves and worked twice as hard to show that I deserved to enlist and play at the next level. It all ended well in the end.

“It was such a great addition on the cake, after a really special season with Husky, where we won the Presidents Cup and the Memorial Cup. It’s hard to beat. It’s a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Besides, this moment would be forever immortalized on his skin soon.

“I want to have that moment with a tattoo on my arm. This is in my plans. It is very important to me. We had a special team.”

“I always want more”

His 2021-2022 season wasn’t that bad either. Harvey-Pinard was Rocket’s most productive player with 56 points, including 21 goals, in 69 games, as well as scoring his first NHL goal in his first game, December 28, against Lightning in Tampa Bay.

However, the 5-foot-9, 182-pound striker is not entirely satisfied.

“I’m happy, it’s been a good year for me in general. But I’m not completely satisfied, I always want more. The start of the season was slower.

His performance helped the Rocket qualify for the MLS playoffs for the first time. The CH School Club even got a pass in the first round. He will begin his journey against the Syracuse crisis on Friday.

Harvey Benard hopes the missile will reach “as far as possible”. As for his career, it is as long as possible … before going to plan B.

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