Months after getting drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers, Pascal Laberge suffered a concussion on a vicious head shot during a QMJHL regular season game last October.
He then missed all but two games over essentially a two-month period as a result. In the end, he was held to just 46 games for the Victoriaville Tigres, scoring 12 goals and 32 points. He then had two goals in four playoff games.
This week at Flyers’ development camp, the 19-year-old Laberge went into detail about the difficult times he endured during his concussion and how difficult it was to come back from once he was healthy enough to play.
Regaining confidence was a barricade for Laberge following his return from his concussion, especially when going toward the boards. “You’re kind of shy to go there,” he said. He often played looking over his shoulder and said it took about two months for him to fully recover.
“The first month,” he said, “I couldn’t wake up. I had to sleep all day.”
Laberge has battled through an immense amount of adversity away from the rink as a teenager.
In a piece for the Players’ Tribune, he talked about the passing of his stepmom after a brief battle with cancer, his father’s cancer diagnosis and his mother’s battle with multiple sclerosis.
Despite everything he faced, Laberge was able to score 23 goals and 68 points in his draft year, eventually going in the second round, 36th overall, to the Flyers. He signed his entry-level deal a few weeks later.