Cam with a plan
Wildcats’ captain to give up final junior-eligible season to join RCMP
Life goes on after junior hockey and Cameron Allaby plans to get a head start.
Allaby, captain of the Valley Wildcats of the Maritime Junior Hockey League, has made the decision to forgo his final junior-eligible season next year for a career in policing. The 19-year-old from Masstown, Colchester County, has been accepted to the RCMP and will begin training next May in Regina.
“I’m gonna miss the boys,” said Allaby, who is following the same career path as his uncle Scott, an RCMP officer in the Northwest Territories. “We practise every morning and I’m going to miss coming to the rink every day.”
The second-year defenceman said he would love to finish his competitive playing career next season with the Wildcats, how- ever, he’s excited to move on to the next chapter of his life in a job where he can help others.
And his coach, Nick Greenough, respects that.
“It’s always tough as a player; it doesn’t matter if you’re 19 or 35 when you’re going to make that decision,” to quit playing, said Greenough, “but to be an RCMP officer, that’s quite an honour … and I think we, as Canadians, are in great shape having guys like him as an RCMP officer, so I completely respect that and I’m happy and proud.”
Allaby played minor hockey in Debert and Truro before moving on to midget AAA in Pictou County. As an undersized defenceman, he wasn’t exactly a surefire prospect for the Wildcats, who made him an eighthround pick (109th overall) in the 2017 MHL draft. However, his desire to compete at the junior level and follow in the footsteps of his father, Dave – a defenceman who played junior hockey in Truro in the mid-1980s – allowed him to persevere and become a popular player with Valley.
The Wildcats didn’t name a captain in September but instead went with five alternates, including Allaby. As the season went on, Greenough said the hard-working blueliner emerged as a leader, and as a result was awarded the ‘C’ in late November.
“He’s a kid who’s very mature above his years,” said Greenough. “He’s a guy we want leading our club; we know he’s gonna show up and compete every night and he’s doing a great job with it.
“Obviously, fighting’s not a big part of his game but he hangs in there and he throws them when he has to and sticks up for his teammates, throws big body checks every game and he puts it all on the line; he’s a little pit bull out there.”
While small in stature – fivefoot-seven, 180 pounds – Allaby plays well above his size and has become a reliable player in all areas of the ice. He plays big minutes for the Wildcats and is a regular on the team’s power-play and penalty-killing units.
“If it was up to me I wouldn’t come off the ice,” he smiled.
The Wildcats have taken their lumps in recent years. They missed the playoffs during Allaby’s rookie campaign and appear headed for the same fate this season with just five wins in 27 games so far to sit last in the 12team MHL.
Despite the team’s struggles, Allaby said he is proud to play for the Wildcats.
“It’s a huge honour to play for this organization,” he said. “They really care about their players. There’s nothing more I can ask from this organization; they do a lot for me and all I can do is play hard for them.”