On Thursday July 19, 2019 James Mayotte ’20, a former Sabre, decided to sign a standard player agreement in the Ontario Hockey League with the North Bay Battalion. A standard player agreement includes an education package with the North Bay Battalion. James Mayotte, came to Shattuck-St.Mary’s School in the fall of 2017. At the time Mayotte was excited about all that SSM had to offer both for school and hockey. “Yeah, like I said before, that was a huge part of the decision making for me, and me leaving Shattuck and going to the CHL. I always considered playing college hockey, especially after going over to play for Shattuck and it opened up my eyes and what kind of opportunity that was for me, I think it’s a great route but everyone has their own path and I think I found mine in the OHL.”
Being one of the few Canadian hockey players at the school, James had the option of going to play college hockey after his high school career, or to play in the CHL (Canadian Hockey League) while still in high school and a few years after. At Shattuck-St. Mary’s, James quickly became confident and comfortable after making the U16 team. As the season progressed Mayotte developed both as a student and as an athlete and as a result of his hard work, he was drafted in the fifth round of the OHL priority selection draft. The following season, Mayotte decided to play through an ongoing injury in tryouts, this lead to the decision to place him on the boys U18 AAA team for the 2018-2019 season, during which he tallied up 8 goals and 12 assists for a total of 20 points in 55 games.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2019, when Mayotte made the decision to not return to SSM and return back to Ontario. When asking Mayotte about his summer he said, “The summer was good, a lot of rest period taken for me after leaving Shattuck, and then not too shortly after we hopped right back into things getting ready for the fall and season so it was good. Lots of rest lots of training lots of hockey oriented things.” This was the hallmark of Mayotte’s career and he said, “Well you know a lot of thinking and talking went on going into that decision, I talked a lot with my family and my agent and we discussed a lot of things like what was best for me and being at Shattuck like you said was a big part of me and a big part of my development… but at the end of the day the Ontario Hockey League seemed like the best fit especially with next year being my draft year.”
A big part of the junior process is living in the community with another family. These are called billet families, when talking to Mayotte about his family he said, “The families taken me in they’ve made me one of their own and I feel great here… Yeah you know they’ve given me everything exactly how I want it. They’ve been fans for a while, you know they’re natives to the city, they are natives to North Bay and they’ve been watching the Battalion for years on end, so they are huge fans. They’re huge supporters and they have a five year-old girl and a new born girl, so they’re probably my biggest fans and I consider them my family already.” Mayotte said that the junior or college decision, at the end of the day, comes down to what you think will be better for you. Mayotte said, “at the end of the day, major junior just fit my style of play better.”