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Thursday , 2 December 2021

From Bonnyville to Iowa, Emmett Croteau earns scholarship to Clarkson

Emmett Croteau has taken the road less travelled for a junior hockey player looking to pursue the next level. 

Currently in Waterloo, Iowa, with the Black Hawks in the USHL, the 17-year-old from Bonnyville is over 2,200 kilometres away from home, but much closer to his ultimate goal. 

The netminder signed a NCAA Division I scholarship with Clarkson University recently, meaning Croteau has achieved his pursuit of playing at the next level beyond junior. 

“Extremely grateful just for everyone that’s been supporting me and stuff like that. It’s a crazy feeling,” Croteau told Michael Menzies on After Hours. 

“It was great to make that decision and just know that I’m on path to go to a great Division I hockey school and just continue my career having fun playing hockey.” 

Croteau is in the midst of his second season with the Waterloo Black Hawks a team in the top US junior hockey league. He was drafted after a year he spent in Bellflower, California at St. John Bosco High playing midget.  

Croteau during action with the Waterloo Black Hawks. Image submitted.

In 16 appearances last season, he had a 7-6 record with a 3.67 goals against average and .887 save percentage. 

In the game of hockey today, there are many paths a young player can travel down and Croteau highlighted some of his reasoning for the border jump, which put him on this current track. 

“Obviously, the first one was opportunity. They gave me a place to play and everything. And second of all, it’s a great league. Newer, a lot of fans, a lot of attention coming towards it. And it just was a great organization in a great up and coming league, so for me and my family it was a no brainer. It was a great, great decision and what’s obviously worked out so far,” he said. 

But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some surprises when he arrived about how hockey-focused the community was. 

“I never would have thought in Iowa that hockey would be this crazy. We got 1000s of fans coming to our games every day and every weekend. It’s a crazy environment, a lot of good fans and a great organization,” he said. 

Croteau gets to learn alongside Jack Williams, the Black Hawks starting goaltender so far this year, who is committed to Notre Dame. The Bonnyville product is 1-3 so far this year. 

Now beyond the surprise of playing in front of thousands at these US barns, Croteau can focus on what’s important this moment, stopping pucks. 

But he hasn’t forgotten those who helped him get to this point of whom he is thankful. 

“Obviously just those coaches in Bonnyville, Ryan Blocha, Chad Cabana, Chad Emigh. Growing up, I used to be just kind of lazy little kid just going out there to have fun and they bust me into shape and from there just kind of just shaping myself. Obviously more help along the way, with more coaches, and family and my friends who just shaped me into what’s happening now. I wouldn’t have got here without them.”

Emmett Croteau on After Hours with Michael Menzies | Presented by Northern Truck & Industrial Supples and Dynamo Small Engine (begins 15:26)

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.