The Powassan Voodoos have added Battalion 2015 13th round pick Eric Allair to the defence corps for the upcoming 2015-16 season, the club announced on Friday.
At 6’0”, 183 pounds, Allair is a physical defenceman who accumulated (7 G, 17 A) 24 points in 33 games during the regular season with the North Bay Midget AAA Trappers.
The big 16-year-old defender got a taste of junior ‘A’ hockey last season as an affiliate player with the Voodoos. The North Bay native impressed at the end of the season as he played ahead of healthy older roster defenceman with the Powassan Voodoos during a run to the NOJHL semi-finals. During that playoff stint, Allair recorded 1 goal in 7 playoff contests.
Voodoos Head Coach Scott Wray knows Allair will be a valuable addition to the back end.
“We had him for our playoff run last year and we saw what he can do, we are really excited to have him and we are excited to hopefully develop him to make the next move up to the OHL with the Battalion,” said Wray.
For Allair, the decision to commit to the Battalion affiliate team was an easy one.
“It’s an awesome organization and a good stepping stone for me, getting used to playing junior A, just working towards my goal is to sometime play major junior ‘A’ with the Battalion,” he said.
North Bay Midget AAA Trappers Head Coach Mike Reise believes the Voodoos signing of Allair is a good sign of a strong development connection being forged between the Trappers, the Voodoos and the North Bay Battalion.
“As soon as the Battalion got here and the Voodoos started their program I think this is what we have all envisioned as how the picture would look, having kids that come out of minor midget, excelling in what they do,” said Reise.
“Eric comes through the program, excels at it, takes it to another level, gets drafted by the Battalion, then gets to sign with the Voodoos and play Tier II hockey, it’s fantastic. It will be a great growth opportunity for him, it looks great for the midgets, great for the Voodoos and it looks great for the Battalion, it’s the way things should work.”
Photo (L to R) Rylee Rivet, Co-owner Marc Rivet, Asst. Coach Todd Robillard, Co-owner Ray Seguin, Eric Allair, Trappers Head Coach Mike Reise, Voodoos Head Coach Scott Wray.