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Glavin’s OHL debut in Sarnia ‘as special as I ever imagined’

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Tara Jeffrey

Josh Glavin has stepped out onto the ice at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena more times than he can count.

In fact, it’s where the Sarnia teen first learned to skate, tie his laces, and play the game he loves so much — thanks to his dad.

“I basically grew up here,” Glavin said of the home of the Sarnia Sting, where dad Mark has been on staff since before he was born, and now serves as the team’s assistant general manager.

“It’s always been a special place for me.”

But this month was different. Glavin, 16, took a deep breath and stepped out onto the ice he’s called home for so long — this time, as an OHL player.

“At first I was really nervous,” said the third-round draft pick of the Saginaw Spirit — the team had called him up for their Oct. 7 matchup against the Sting, marking his official OHL debut. “It was probably the most people I’ve ever played in front of. But I settled in eventually, and it just became another hockey game for me.”

But it wasn’t just another hockey game for Mark Glavin and the family.

“It was surreal,” said Glavin, who still recalls bringing Josh with him to work all those years ago. “He was born the year Steve Stamkos was in Sarnia. I had him here in a stroller in the dressing room,” he said with a laugh, recalling those quieter summer days when he’d bring young Josh out for a skate.

Mark Glavin may have gotten him started, but the hard work and talent was all Josh, he said.

“He’s creating his own path now, and I’m just so proud of him.”

The six-foot-two defensemen, who played AAA with the U16 Jr. Sting, was selected by the Spirit in the third round, 54th overall, in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection.

He spent a month with the Spirit and played all six pre-season games before the team sent him back to the Sarnia Legionnaires in September — but not before giving him a heads up that he’d be on the roster to make his OHL debut in Sarnia.

“I was counting down the days,” said Glavin. “That was my home arena my entire life.”
When he’s not on hand for his Legionnaires practices and games, he’s traveling to Saginaw for school and training with the Spirit. His next goal is making the team full-time, and in the meantime, have a strong season with the Legionnaires, and taking in every special moment along the way.

“When I was little, I used to dream about making my OHL debut, looking up to those players,” he said. “Here I am… and it’s as special as I ever imagined.”

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