Maxence Guenette goes about his business quietly.
Nevertheless, the soft-spoken 18-year-old L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec product is making lots of noise in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
You may not know is name, but you will remember him after you watch the highly skilled two-way defender play.
You see Maxence Guenette isn’t flashy, he might not catch your eye or jump off the page, but he’s one of the most complete defencemen in the QMJHL.
Guenette isn’t a one-dimensional offensively driven defencemen, he takes pride in playing the right way and taking care of his own zone first, that’s what makes him so special.
Guenette is quick to credit former Foreurs Head Coach and current Acadie-Bathurst Head Coach Mario Durocher for being a mentor and a big influence on his game early on in his Q career.
“He may have only been here for a year, but I really liked Mario,” confessed Guenette.
“Mario was tough on me, but he gave me time to develop and the opportunity to play and lots of ice time.”
Times are always tough as a sixteen-year-old defencemen in the QMJHL, but Guenette managed to have a very solid rookie campaign amassing 12 points in 61 games.
Obviously, Guenette’s plus/minus numbers over the past two seasons are skewed due in large part to the rebuilding Foreurs.
You might not notice the veteran defender and what he brings to the table night in night out, but rest assured his presence and impact on the game doesn’t go unnoticed those in the know.
Maxence Guenette might just be one of those late round NHL Draft Picks that has a long successful professional career.
The Ottawa Senators sure hope so.
Guenette is coming off a very solid sophomore season in the Q where he scored 8 goals and added 24 assists in 68 regular season games. He also added 3 pts in 7 playoff games.
His hard work and dedication to the game he loves didn’t go unnoticed in what some players call the most stressful year of their lives, their NHL Draft year.
The Ottawa Senators selected him in the 7th round 187th overall in the 2019 Entry Draft.
Guenette might a be a late round pick, but his ceiling is incredibly high.
“We liked that Max was mobile and could move the puck up ice efficiently,” said Senators Chief Amateur Scout Trent Mann.
“We also liked his resiliency,” Mann added.
“He didn’t get off to a strong start in his draft year, however he re-set in the second half and finished very strong.”
“Max came to camp very prepared and a strong camp. He has continued that into this season,” explained Mann.
Mann is very pleased with Guenette’s progression.
“Max continues to improve on the offensive side of his game while also bringing more consistent physical presence. We are very pleased with where his game is at this point.”
“It was a dream come true to be drafted by the Senators,” Guenette said proudly.
“For me it’s just the beginning of the story, I want to play pro in the next couple of years.”
“I need to play in the junior ranks and make a big step every year.”
“I’m going to try to dominant in junior, but it’s all about taking it step by step.
The confident skilled two-way defender may have flown under the radar and may have not been a marque name on Team QMJHL, but his breakout performance earlier this month during the CIBC CHL Canada Russia Series definitely created a buzz.
Don’t be surprised to see the Senators 7th rounder get the call from Hockey Canada to attend it’s World Junior Selection Camp in the upcoming weeks.
Guenette is a team first guy through and through and is solely focused on team success in his third full season with the Foreurs.
You don’t have to be around the smooth skating two-way defencemen very long to see the passion he has for the game and his team.
Guenette has taken on a leadership role with the young rebuilding skilled Foreurs, but the struggles of the past two seasons have definitely taken a toll on him and team.
Through all the adversity Guenette has remained focused on doing what he can to help the team win while also taking the necessary steps to play at the next level.
“I’m a two-way defencemen so I’m trying to work on every zone, but really I’m trying to take care of my own zone.”
“Guys are bigger, stronger and faster at the next level, so I need to be better without the puck in my d-zone,” stressed Guenette.
“The Senators told me to continue to work on my speed and my game without the puck and to focus on improving my game and the result would come.”
With the QMJHL Trade Period fast approaching you could almost count on several contending teams wanting Guenette’s services for the all-important stretch drive.
“Val d’Or is like my home town.”
“I’ve been there since I was sixteen.”
“I like the city and my billet and all the players, but I want to win.”
“It’s been two rough years since I’ve been here,” confessed Guenette.
Time will tell if the Foreurs are willing to part ways with arguably one of the top two-way defencemen in the circuit.
Control what you can control is certainly Maxence Guenette’s mantra right now, with the upcoming Trade Period and the possibility of being named to Team Canada’s World Junior Selection Camp.
“It would be awesome,” confessed Guenette.
“I’m a 7th round pick and there’s a lot of guys my age drafted before me, but I don’t think that has effected me.”
“The draft doesn’t matter now, I just play my game and play the right way.”
“The invite would be a dream come true for me,” Guenette said.