LEWISTON – Without strapping on a pad or carving his skate blade into the fresh ice at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, Peter Delmas has already made an impact on the Lewiston Maineiacs’ late-summer training camp.

All he had to do was walk through the door.

“He’s always got a smile on his face,” Maineiacs’ Head Coach and GM Ed Harding said. “He showed up (Wednesday), he had his hat down, his ears were sticking out, but he’s smiling, joking around a little bit. That’s just the kind of person he is.”

And according to Harding, that’s just the kind of player he wants for this year’s team.

“He’s a first-class kid, and obviously I give his parents a lot of credit because he was brought up the right way,” Harding said. “He’s a humble kid, and that’s a big word for us in the locker room this year. He’s a good teammate.”

Busy, busy, busy

Delmas has been busy this summer. He started by going home to Bedford, Nova Scotia. He trained there, and then in Montreal.

His parents moved to the Toronto area, and he joined them there, before making the trip to Calgary for Team Canada’s training camp. He made the Under-18 Canadian National team, and traveled to Europe for a tournament.

There, he and the Canadians finished fourth.

“It was a good experience, but it wasn’t the result we were looking for,” Delmas said. “I wasn’t satisfied coming in fourth, but overall I think I had a pretty good tournament.”

Delmas allowed just five goals in regulation in three pool games, but a shootout loss relegated the team to the bronze-medal game, which they lost, 5-4, to Russia.

Then it was back home, and then to Lewiston. Delmas is still shaking off the jet lag.

“Last night, I went to bed at eight,” Delmas said. “I woke up this morning at five, which was 11 o’clock their time, so I was tired early and woke up early. There’s nothing you can do about it either.”

Ready to go

Delmas won’t see much time in net until late next week. He won’t play in either home exhibition game against Acadie-Bathurst this weekend, and will ease back into competition slowly.

But he’s ready to go, whenever he gets the call.

“From what I understand, he’s had a heck of a summer working out,” Harding said. “We’re giving him a little bit of rest here. We’re hoping to see him Friday the 31st to see him in there, but we’ll give him a little rest.”

Another slice of motivation: Delmas is NHL Draft-eligible this year. But even if he has to play the role of backup to Jonathan Bernier again, Delmas isn’t worried.

“I definitely know some goalies who have been drafted, even though they are the backup,” Delmas said. “For example, (Steve) Mason, from London (of the OHL). He only played 16 games, got drafted by Columbus, and then last year broke the record for minutes played in the OHL. As long as you play well in your games, you have a shot.”

One thing different for Delmas this season is his role with the younger goalies. This year, there are some in camp now looking to Delmas, who’s still only 17, for leadership.

“It’s not like they’re looking up to you as much as they are competing against you,” Delmas said, trying again to deflect attention from himself. “Also, me and Bernier, I want the coaches to say that they’re equally as confident in Peter Delmas as they are in Jonathan Bernier. I want to be as good as Jonathan Bernier … “

Delmas paused. He started to say the word “better,” but he caught himself.

“I wouldn’t say better, because I don’t know if that’s possible,” Delmas said with a laugh. “But good.”

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