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OJS Player Profile: Xavier Guillemette

by Warren Rappleyea

Xavier Guillemette’s first season in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) was something of a roller coaster ride. He began the season with the Navan Grads but was traded to the Junior Senators in late October and by May he was in Estevan, playing for the Centennial Cup.

Along the way, the ’05 forward became a key role player in Ottawa. He appeared in 45 regular season games, producing three goals and four assists. During the Junior Sens playoff run to the Bogart Cup title, Guillemette was in the lineup for eight games and scored one goal.

“My role is to provide a lot of energy when I’m on the ice,” said the Ottawa native. “I’m always on the puck. I play limited minutes, but I try to make an impact.”

The lefty-shooter clearly has a bright future and was an eighth-round pick in the 2021 OHL draft by the Ottawa 67s. Previously, Guillemette had impressed playing with the Junior 67’s prior to the pandemic when he posted 38 points in just 30 games.

In addition to adjusting to the style of play in the CCHL, as one of the younger guys on a veteran team, Guillemette had to adjust to playing a different role.

“Obviously, it was a bit of a challenge for me going from being one of the top guys on a team to just being a rookie,” he explained. “That’s part of hockey. You have to learn to cope with whatever situation you’re in. It’s something that every player has to do at some point in their career.”

Guillemette’s speed made him particularly valuable on the forecheck for OJS. His ability to get on the puck quickly often forced opposing players to make hasty decisions, which, in turn, created turnovers. The 5-9, 178-pounder has also shown good vision on the ice and an ability to find open teammates when he has the puck.

Guillemette comes from a hockey playing family. Both of his brothers and his dad, Sasha, play so it’s not surprising that Xavier found himself on the ice at the age of three. Sasha Guillemette was able to coach Xavier for several seasons as the youngster rose through the youth hockey ranks.

After opening this season with Navan, Guillemette was traded to the Junior Senators in late October. He was excited to join a contender and netted a goal in his first game. The expectations, however, were high.

“The CCHL is a way harder league than U18,” Guillemette said. “You have to be fast and strong to play here. You also have to be dialed in every game if you want to win and do the little things like finishing your checks. The veterans have been great to me. They were very welcoming, but they made it clear through their commitment that they expected me to work hard.”

In addition to playing hockey, Guillemette attends high school locally and has managed to play lacrosse for his school team. Living in the community also enables his dad and mom (Marilyn) to attend most of his games.

“I’ve really learned a lot this year and it’s been a great experience playing for a championship team, Guillemette said. Once you step foot in the team’s dressing room, you quickly realize why every minor hockey player in the area wants to play for OJS. It’s a very professional organization, from top to bottom. As a 16-year-old rookie, I know I’m fortunate to be playing here.”