Jack Pineau is following in his older brother’s skate blades.
The Thunder Bay Kings minor midgets captain was selected 239th overall in the 12th round by the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League draft on Saturday. Pineau, 15, was the lone member of the Kings to be chosen in the 15-round selection series featuring the 20 major junior league clubs in the province.
Jack’s brother, Alex, was taken by the Sudbury Wolves last year. Alex spent this past season with the Kings major midgets.
Kings minor midget coach Matt Valley said before the draft it would be tough for his top players to get selected in higher rounds due to the lack of scout exposure with the cancellation of the OHL Showcase Cup. Valley said either four or five of his players could be drafted or none at all.
However, Jack Pineau’s call to the table was well-deserved, he added.
“Where Jack excels is, he’s just a pure athlete,” Valley said last week. “A straight-up competitor. I think he earned the captaincy because of his leader-by-example attitude.”
Pineau, who is six feet and 150 pounds, was second in team scoring with 15 goals and 21 assists in 48 games played. Despite lasting until the 12th round, Valley said officials with the Knights will see Pineau’s hard work shine through when he gets in front of them.
“Every single day — whether it’s a 6 a.m. practice or a 7 a.m. game, he was the hardest worker on our team,” Valley said. “I can’t remember a time when he had a bad practice. He was always zipping the puck around from tape to tape and pushing his teammates. As a coach, you enjoy it because you don’t have to worry about his compete level. It’s always through the roof.”
Pineau is also a multi-sport athlete. As a starting pitcher, he helped lead the Port Arthur Nationals baseball team to the Ontario Little League championship in 2017. The Nats lost in the Canadian final. Pineau went 2-0 at the nationals.
Jack and Alex’s father, David, is a former standout basketball player and currently the sports activities director for all Thunder Bay high school leagues.
The OHL’s under-18 draft will be held on Wednesday. Players from the Kings’ major midget team will be eligible to be selected.