Born in Edmunston, N.B, Cedrik Desjardins moved with his parents a year or so later to the area of Kamouraska in the province of Quebec. He began to goaltender and was later good enough to play for the Midget AAA Levis Commandeurs.
In June 2002, the QMJHL Rimouski Oceanic drafted Desjardins in the 13th round. The 6’0″ 175-pound goalie played 23 games in his rookie season, recording with the worst team of the league an average of 5.23 goals against per game and a .870 save percentage.
In the 2003-04 season, Desjardins played only 20 games as the Rimouski coach placed his confidence on 20-year-old Guillaume Lavallee. Desjardins improved his record averaging 3.86 GAA and a .901 save percentage.
Even if he didn’t have a lot of chances to demonstrate his capabilities, Desjardins was good enough to be ranked 18th by the NHL Central Scouting Service among the North American goalies.
“Cedrik drew the attention of the scouts when he played on the road while he was aware that there were a lot of scouts in the stands,” Desjardins’ agent Paul Corbeil of the Paraphe Group told Hockey’s Future in a recent interview.
Among others, Corbeil recalls a game in Victoriaville while Desjardins played a great one in front of 15 scouts or so.
Drummondville on February 20th on the occasion of the first visit of Rimouski Oceanic was another memorable game. Playing in a sold out Coliseum, Drummondville Voltigeurs were all over the place, outshooting their opponents 15 to 7 in the third period and 29-22 for the whole game. Nevertheless, Rimouski won 5-2. That night, Desjardins played a remarkable game and earned the third star of the game.
Born on September 30th in 1985, Desjardins is from the classic Quebec mold of goalies. He uses a butterfly style, moves very well and has quick reflexes. As so many goalies from the province of Quebec who made their name in the NHL, he also has an excellent technique.
“I need to improve my mental preparation and my game around the net with the defensemen,” said Desjardins when asked by HF in a telephone interview what he has to improve the most. “I also have to gain experience in the key games,” he added.
When asked what he expects for next season, Desjardins says Rimouski coach Donald Dufresne didn’t promise him a sure first spot. However, he was said he would have a real chance to prove his value on the ice.
Desjardins is well aware about the rumors concerning the possibility of goaltender Corey Schneider being in Rimouski. “I’m not worried about that and whatever happens, I just have to be well prepared for the camp and play my game. We should have a pretty good team in Rimouski next year and I know I can do the job in the net,” stated Desjardins.
In the meantime, the young prospect is having daily training. He also has summer school in college and later in July, he will attend the hockey school of Benoit Allaire, a well known goalie trainer.
“One of the great quality of Cedrik is his attitude,” Paul Corbeil told Hockey’s Future.
This quality is of course key to success. This could make a difference for Desjardins because he hasn’t yet had much chance to show off. For this reason, he will be, at the best, a late round selection at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Nonetheless, being a late choice or even not being drafted, especially for the goaltenders, does not mean that an NHL career is impossible. Recall that of the 30 best NHL goaltenders in the last season, four were
undrafted and six were either an eighth or a ninth round selection. Cedrik Desjardins is also well aware about that fact and even though he would like to be drafted somewhere around the seventh round in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, he just hope one thing: “I just want a chance to prove what kind of performances I can offer,” he said.
Simon Richard is the author of La Serie du siecle, Septembre 1972, a book about the Summit Series published in 2002.