Profile: Sebastien Montclair

Profile: Sebastien Montclair

Sebastien “Sebby” Montclair is the oldest child of Lucian and Leah Montclair (nee Reuter).

He was born and raised in Boston, MA, during his father’s playing career with the Boston Bears of the IHA. Montclair learned to skate at an early age and was often present with Lucian at the rink, whether during practice or skate or other special events. That Montclair would follow in his father’s footsteps was rarely questioned; he began playing quite young and was mentored by some of the coaches and players in the Bears’ organization. His talent for the game was surpassed by his zeal for playing. A natural right winger, he was versatile enough to play on either side of the rink, a fact that helped his minor hockey career. Despite excelling on the ice, Montclair was tagged as a problem student, often being threatened with suspension from hockey for low grades. Nonetheless, he continued to play and was selected to represent Team USA at two World Juniors competitions overseas.   

Quick Facts
Birthdate: August 27 (Age: 21) Height: 5’10 (178 cm) Weight: 205 lbs (93 kg) Position: Right Wing
Shoots: Left
Hometown: Boston, MA
Draft: 9th overall (Boston; 1st Round)
Teams: Washington Stars (IHA); Boston Bears (IHA)
  

Montclair was drafted ninth overall, in the first round, when he became eligible for the draft. He was selected by the Bears, who saw him as a new foundation block for a franchise that had been struggling in recent years. Lucian had retired four seasons before, and other key players had either retired, signed with another franchise during free agency, or been traded. Much of the old team, which had led the Bears to excellent results in the 1990s and early 2000s, had been dismantled. With few players in the development pipeline, the Bears desperately needed fresh legs.   

Montclair made his IHA debut just days after his eighteenth birthday, making him one of the youngest players to play his first IHA game and one of the youngest to tally a point in the league. Although he played well initially, Montclair struggled with the transition from junior league hockey to the faster-paced IHA. He soon found himself struggling through a ten-game pointless streak, the first of several he experienced that season. There was talk of the Bears either trading him or sending him down to the minors.    

Montclair continued to struggle throughout his rookie year. When he hit the ice for his sophomore season the following September, it became apparent that little work had been done to improve the areas he was struggling in. He soon entered another slump. When his scoring drought extended itself into December, the Bears decided to deal Montclair to the Washington Stars.    

Montclair was initially shocked by the trade and, in the days following, he was strongly critical of management in Boston, suggesting that they didn’t give players time to develop, instead looking for “bandage” solutions to their problems. He felt that he hadn’t been properly supported by management or the coaching staff during his tenure in Boston. He also criticized the fanbase for expecting “miraculous” solutions, instead of committing to a long and painful rebuild process.  

  Montclair struggled with the Stars as well, which led many of his critics to suggest that the problem wasn’t with the Boston Bears organization, but with Montclair himself. He was quickly characterized as a spoiled brat, an immature player whose expectations for greatness far exceeded his actual talent. Many blamed his father’s lofty legacy for inspiring Montclair to have an inflated sense of his worth as a player. Others, more sympathetic to Montclair, suggested that the media should be faulted if he had developed an unrealistic sense of his value to a team; the media, they argued, had crowned Montclair as a “great” long before he’d had a chance to prove himself and had set the expectations so high that he could only fail to meet them.      

After a difficult second season, Montclair spent the summer working closely with the Stars’ coaching staff to improve deficits in his play. His play was notably better during the following season, although he still struggled to maintain consistency. He started playing on the top line with Symon Tremblay, but was soon moved to the second line, where he developed rapport with his linemates, Danny O’Neill and Matt Sweeney. Montclair played left wing, until Sweeney was moved to the third line.     Montclair played a solid fourth season in the IHA, appearing in seventy-six of eighty-two games for the Stars. He had settled into his role as a second-line winger, and appeared to be more steady in terms of production.

International Play

Montclair played for two World Junior teams. The US was defeated in the quarter-finals both times. Montclair’s play was considered by most to be well-rounded during the tournaments, although he was on the ice for both of the winning goals. Owing to his struggles during his first few seasons in the IHA, he was not considered to represent the US at the World Championships or the Olympics.

Personal Life

Montclair’s father is Boston Bears great Lucian Montclair. Lucian retired from hockey four years before Montclair was eligible for the draft. Lucian is still involved with hockey, although he is involved with the New York Americans organization as a scout. He and Montclair’s mother, Leah, divorced following his retirement. Montclair has one younger sibling, a brother named Michel, who also plays hockey. Montclair supports a number of charity organizations, particularly those devoted to sports for underprivileged youth. Montclair also organizes the Montclair Charity Golf Tournament, an annual tournament started by his father Lucian. Proceeds from the tournament go to Boston’s sick children’s hospital.

Scoring

IHA

Season
Age
TM
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
EV
PP
SH
GW
EV
PP
SH
1
18
BOS
79
15
30
45
-1
10
5
5
5
1
20
5
5
2
19
BOS
28
2
4
6
-3
10
2
0
0
1
3
1
0
2
19
WSH
54
7
10
17
-2
7
0
0
2
5
3
2
0
3
20
WSH
82
25
30
55
+1
24
10
10
5
5
15
10
5
4
21
WSH
76
30
40
70
0
20
15
10
5
7
20
10
10
Career
419
79
114
193
-1
71
25
25
17
19
61
28
20

International Play

LG
Age
TM
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
WJ
16
USA
7
3
5
8
+4
2
WJ
17
USA
7
3
5
8
+2
6
Career
14
6
10
16
+3
8

Awards and Honors

  • IHA Player of the Week (x2) 
  • IHA Player of the Month (x1)

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