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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Caputo

Excitement "to the max" for Crete after signing OHL deal with Niagara

Brandon Caputo


Maximus (Max) Crete was selected 30th overall by the Niagara IceDogs in the 2024 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection draft last month but the Ottawa, Ontario native is excited to put pen to paper, having signed his OHL Scholarship and Development Agreement with Niagara last week.

 

“The last few weeks have definitely been exciting,” Crete said. “When I got drafted I was thrilled but after I got the offer from the IceDogs I couldn’t turn that down. This is the best developmental league in the world and they gave me a pretty good offer so I’m really excited to get going next season, meet all the guys and get going down in Niagara.”

 

Crete added that he has been flattered with the pouring outreach from family, friends and everyone in between but made sure to let them all know that this is just the beginning for him and that achieving goals at the next level in the OHL are of top priority to him at this time.

 

“It’s pretty cool, always good for people to support you and reach out,” Crete said. “It makes you feel special, family members, close friends and those who have always been supportive. Obviously, the congratulations are nice but it’s just the beginning and I just told them that it’s the start and I’ve got a lot more work to do.”

 

 

A good first impression

 

Crete participated at IceDogs Development and Orientation Camp back on April 27th and talked about wanting to make an immediate impact upon arrival with his teammates and coaches.


“It was great, we were greeted really well,” Crete said. “I got to meet all the guys who got drafted the past few years, build good rapport and play alongside them, which was good to break the ice a little bit. Did my best to play my game and to make a good first impression on the coach; I think I did pretty well in that aspect.”


Crete also spoke about getting to meet his new head coach Ben Boudreau for the first time and how much he is looking forward to being around such a passionate coach who will push him and develop him in all aspects on and off the ice.


“Coach Boudreau seems like a great guy, he greeted me really well giving me tips during the game,” Crete said. “He’s not afraid to express what he wants out of me and I’ll do as much as I can to help them know that I can be relied upon in all situations. Going into the camp my goal was to make a good first impression on the head coach and I’m really excited for him to coach me to develop my skills and develop me as a player as well as a human being.”

 

Crete noted that Niagara’s first round selection (fourth overall) from the 2024 OHL Priority Selection draft Braidy Wassilyn impressed him and the opportunity to play against him at Orientation Camp was a fun challenge for him, as the duo went toe-to-toe scoring goals and setting up teammates dawning opposing "10" jerseys on the ice.

 

“I’d say to no one’s surprise Braidy Wassilyn stuck out to me the most,” Crete said. “I met him last year and we chatted here and there. He is a fantastic hockey player, the puck IQ and skill he has definitely gave me a run for my money at the camp. It was good to go against each other wearing number 10 and the coaches kept jokingly saying it was a battle of the 10’s.”

 

Crete was thankful to have met other future teammates of his and to begin building relationships with other draftees who have also signed their agreements with the IceDogs.

 

“It was awesome to play against all of them and to break the ice with a bunch of guys since I’ll be their teammate next year and beyond,” Crete said. “It was a great opportunity to meet Braidy Wassilyn, Matthew Humphries and Nicholas Frasca who all signed too; it’s an exciting young group of guys to begin with.”

 


An offseason filled with hard work and preparation

Credit: Puck Preps


Crete, having been given his name of Maximus due to his parents being big fans of the gladiator movie, wants to continue that dog mentality that he has developed into as a player up to this point and to keep training as hard as possible in the summer.

 

“Just have to continue getting stronger for sure, that’s the number one thing’” said Crete. “Bigger, stronger, it’s a faster league for sure. I’m on the smaller side but I’m not going to let that get to me and just keep working. Get stronger everywhere, lower body to stay on my feet in battles and work on my shot.”


Crete potted 28 goals for 66 points in only 29 games this past season with the Upper Canada Cyclones but the 5’9, 165 pound forward says the intricate details like taking faceoffs is something he wants to continue impressing with as he works to master that important aspect of the game.

 

“Coach Boudreau was impressed with my faceoffs as well so I’ll continue working on that because it’s a big asset of my game that I like to work on,” Crete said. “Getting the puck possession is a pretty important part of the game to help your team win.”


Crete concluded by saying that getting to tour the Meridian Centre facility down in Niagara for the first time definitely gave him extra motivation to know what’s next for him come training camp in the fall, as he looks forward to competing with all of his future IceDogs teammates.

 

“I was able to make a trip down to the Meridian Centre after development camp ended and it’s a great facility,” Crete said. “I’ve never seen a rink that big in my life and all the things with it was pretty awesome so I can’t wait to get started at that rink, score some goals in front of all the fans and calling Niagara my home for the coming years.”

 

“Getting to see the facilities was great and made my decision to commit to Niagara a pretty easy one.”


 

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