Sam Mayer: Putting it all together at the right time

Like most small towns in Canada, L’Orignal, ON is obsessed with the sport of hockey. Most kids in the town with a population of just over 1,000 grow up zipping around the ice from a young age including Petes defenceman Samuel Mayer

Mayer has shone for the Petes in their 2021-22 campaign but there was a time when it was very uncertain if he would ever make it to this stage. During his initial OHL draft year, Mayer was a depth defenceman on a very talented Hawkesbury U18 roster and would ultimately go undrafted and return to U18 hockey the next year. While Mayer didn’t expect to get picked in the draft, he was still able to use the experience to motivate himself to the level that he is at today.  

When describing the experience Mayer said, “I saw my friends and people that I knew getting drafted and you’re happy for them but you’re disappointed that you are not at their place. So I worked hard in that offseason and my goal going into that next year was to get drafted and that’s what happened.”

When Mayer returned to his U18 team the following season he saw vast improvements to his game especially on the offensive side. He attributes the improvement to newfound confidence to make plays with the puck that led his offensive numbers to skyrocket and would eventually see him get drafted by the Petes in the first round, 15th overall in the 2020 U18 Draft. 

After being selected by the Petes, Mayer had to wait almost a year and a half before he had the chance to fight for a roster spot where he faced a whole new set of challenges. Coming into camp, the Petes had a crowded blueline and Mayer knew that he would likely be competing for a spot. 

“A week or two before camp, they signed another defenceman and I was a little bit worried because they already had six defencemen and they were only taking seven.”

While his future may have seemed uncertain at the start of camp, his performance during the Petes preseason left little doubt that he would be staying with the club. He consistently got better throughout camp and capped it off with a two-goal performance in the season’s final tune-up game which solidified his spot on the roster. 

Mayer’s strong performance in the first half of the 2021-22 OHL season has caught the eye of not only fans in Peterborough but also scouts at the pro level. While Mayer is focused on the present and the Petes upcoming fight for a playoff spot, he can’t help but look forward to the potential for his hockey dreams to come true. 

“It’s something that is in the back of my mind but I’m trying not to worry about it too much, I want to get drafted for sure but I’ve been trying to play my game and do the best for the team trying to make the playoffs.”

It only took Sam Mayer half of an OHL season to put Petes fans and the entire hockey world on notice as to what the young blueliner can do. With a long junior hockey career still ahead of him the possibilities of what he can achieve while wearing the maroon and white are endless.

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