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Top pick excited to join Warriors

(Marc Smith/DiscoverMooseJaw)  Eric Alarie wants to join the long list of Moose Jaw Warriors that have developed into NHL players.

The Winnipeg product was selected by the Warriors with the 22nd overall pick at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft in Red Deer.

Alarie said he was excited when he heard his name called during Thursday’s first round, “I was really happy to be selected by the Moose Jaw Warriors, it’s a great organization and I know that they develop players really well like Brayden Point and Brett Howden,” he said.

Getting selected into the Western Hockey League is a dream come true for the 223 young players that had the honour on Thursday. Alarie said there was a lot of people that deserve credit for helping him get to this stage of his hockey career.

“My parents have always been behind me, they bring me to practice, they bring me to school every morning even though they have to get up at six in the morning and they’ve always been there for me, same with my sister, my brother, my friends and coaches,” said Alarie.

In 30 games with the Rink Hockey Academy’s bantam prep team this past season, Alarie scored 28 goals and finished with 55 points. He added one more goal and seven points in five playoff games.

The Warriors were happy to land Alarie with the final pick of the opening round.

“We’re getting a big powerful centre who can create space for his linemates, he’s a good playmaker, he can score goals and takes the puck into the dirty areas,” said Warriors assistant GM Jason Ripplinger.

“He’s obviously got good skill, but his work ethic is great.”

Alarie put up some big numbers this season, but the six-foot forward said that his game is centred on working hard.

“I like to battle down low and get the puck out to my wingers to give them a good chance to score,” he said.

“I feel like I need to improve my stick-handling and I always want to improve my skating because it’s a good aspect of the game that you always need to improve.”

Alarie was one of the record 15 players that played in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League selected in the first round this year. He said the competition really helped him push his game to another level.

“It was nice to play against great players from all over Western Canada,” he said. “I want to keep getting better going into the offseason and this year won’t be different.”

Alarie will hit the ice for the first time in Moose Jaw coming up next month when he takes part in the Warriors’ development camp from June 7-10.

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