Female goaltender Ève Gascon has been invited to attend training camp with the QMJHL's Gatineau Olympiques.
"It is an honour for us that Ève has agreed to participate in the camp," Olympiques general manager and head coach Louis Robitaille said in a statement. "She has shown in the past that she can compete at any level. Her pedigree is amazing. She will have the chance to show all her talent during the camp."
— Olympiques Gatineau (@OlympiquesGAT) August 16, 2021
Gascon, 18, was unable to play anywhere last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has been breaking glass ceilings at every level of her career.
In 2018-19, as a 15-year-old, she became the first female goaltender to earn a full-time starting role in Quebec's midget AAA league when she made 18 appearances for Phénix du Collège Esther-Blondin. The following year, she appeared in 25 games with the Phénix, helping them reach the playoffs. In September of last year, Gascon announced that she had committed to play for the University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey program, but it's unclear how her trial with the Olympiques will impact that move.
On the international stage, Gascon helped Canada win a silver medal at the 2020 U18 world championships despite being only 17. She was expected to start for Canada in 2021 edition of the tournament, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Off the ice, her volunteer work with youth hockey organizations earned her Hockey Canada's Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award for the 2020-21 season. The award is given annually to "an active female player who demonstrates dedication to and leadership in the game."
Gascon counts three-time Olympic champion and former QMJHL goaltender Charline Labonté as a mentor and a friend. In a 2019 interview, Labonté said Gascon was on track to be Canada's goaltender of the future at the Olympic and world championship level.
“I don’t want to be biased, but I feel she is the next one,” Labonté said. “She is taking it step by step, but everywhere she has been she has been successful.”
The Olympiques will open training camp Monday with medical and physical tests. The team will play the first of 10 pre-season games on Thursday.