A prospect selected by the Montreal Canadiens in a controversial move at the NHL entry draft on Friday says he believes the team can help make him a better person.
Logan Mailloux said he "deeply regrets" taking a photo of himself and a young woman without consent during an "intimate moment" and then sharing that photo with his teammates "to impress them."
“It was totally irresponsible and a stupid act that I committed without thinking twice," he told reporters Saturday.
“I regret doing this stupid and egotistical act. I deeply regret it.”
Mailloux, who plays for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League, was on loan to SK Lejon in Sweden's third division at the time and was charged and fined under Swedish law.
News of the charges recently surfaced ahead of the draft and Mailloux put out a statement on social media last week asking NHL teams to not select him in this years draft because he had not shown "strong enough maturity or character to earn that privilege."
The Canadiens selected the six-foot-three, 213-pound defenceman 31st overall anyway, with general manager Marc Bergevin defending the move to reporters shortly after the selection.
"We will work closely with him, give him the support that he needs. I know he's been remorseful about the incident, which we truly don't agree with it in all sense of the word," Bergevin said Friday. "But he's a young man who made a serious mistake of judgment. And we need to work with him and we did talk to him and he's very aware of that and very remorseful. So that is a big step."
Mailloux said he's apologized to the young woman and her family, and hopes they know he's sincere.
"I am really sorry. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever done," he said. "I know that I impacted her life and I just hope that she knows how remorseful I feel and that I do feel sorry about it.”
Mailloux added that he's been doing counselling for several months and wasn't expecting to hear his name called in Friday's draft.
"Like I said in my statement, I don’t think that I earned the right to be drafted," he said. "But I just think that my main goal is bettering myself as a person and my character and community moving forward. So if that’s going to be in Montreal, then I’m going to be looking forward to it.”
Online reaction to the Canadiens pick was swift, with many expressing their displeasure with the choice on social media.
Mailloux said he knows the spotlight is bright for hockey players in Montreal and he hopes to one day have the support of Habs fans.
“I think I have to earn back that trust," he said. "It’s not something that should be given to me at all."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2021.