The future of the QMJHL is upon us. Going strictly off the QMJHL CSR’s Final List, I dive into some quick analysis on the 2022 draft class. In this edition I will be providing some analysis and scouting reports on players listed in the 2nd round by the QMJHL’s CSR.
(RSD/LSD = Right and left shot Defencemen, LCG = Left catching goaltender, RSF/LSF Right and Left shot Forward)
Alix Durocher 5’7 LSF Magog Cantonniers : dynamic energy player, highly skilled, explosive skater, some may suggest he might have to lengthen his stride a little to reach his full potential at the next level, but this kid can fly on the ice already, plays a lot bigger than his stature, will have to continue to work on his upper body strength to win board battles, but he’s highly engaged in every shift, he possesses a strong two-way gritty element to his game, fantastic hockey sense, relentless and can score from anywhere, Isn’t scared of the dirty areas of the ice.
Bill Zonnon 6’0 LSF Northwood Prep School: strong skater with very good puck skills in traffic, thinks the game very well, Isn’t the flashiest or most polished skater by any means, but has solid edge control and fantastic compete level, prototypical power forward that gets to the net and can caused havoc in the offensive zone, solid passer and great instincts in all three zones, tremendous reach and stick control in tight areas, will have to get stronger from upper body perspective and slight bit faster to reach his full potential at the next level,
Connor Arseneault 6’1 LSF Saint John Vito’s: strong skater very agile and mobility for his size, prototypical power forward in the making, type of player can definitely skate for days, needs to get to the middle of the ice more often to ensure he can generate scoring chances at the next level, he possesses a fantastic shot, solid pucks and processes the game well in certain situations, like every young forward Arseneault could improve his overall defensive game to ensure he reaches his full potential at the next level, Connor Arseneault could be a steal in the draft, he has all the tools to be a highly effective two-way scoring winger at the Q level
Anthony Pare 6’0 LSD College Notre-Dame Albatross: solid skater, great edge work, can play both sides with relative ease, probably more comfortable on the right side, thinks the game very well, good agility and very active stick, good shot from the point position, very good passer, can run a power play, good vision, will be a solid two and half-zone transitional defender at the next level, solid puck skills in traffic, will need to get a slight bit faster to reach full potential at the Q level, good composure with the puck in all three zones, especially on the offensive blue line, good gap control, will need to get stronger like any young defender, but this kid can play the position and takes a lot of pride in playing the position the right way.
Alexis Bernier 6’0 RSD St-Hyancinthe Gaulois: Above average skater, will have to work on his explosiveness and agility to reach his full potential at the next level, solid puck skills, thinks the game well, has all the makings of a shutdown defender at the next level, outstanding compete level and grit, good distributor of the puck and takes solid routes to pucks for puck retrieval, solid shot from the point position
Gabe Smith 6’3 LSF Rothesay Netherwood School River Hawks: Gabe Smith has all the tools to be an extremely dangerous presence at the QMJHL level and beyond. The 15 year old power forward skates incredibly well for his size. A matter of fact some scouts would say he has amazing feet. At 6’3 and a 190 pounds Smith still has room to grow figuratively and literally. You can make all the comparisons and similarities you want, but Gabe Smith is a close to a bonafide power forward as you could have.
Milan Lucic, Jamie Benn and Sean Couturier come to mind when you see the young New Brunswicker play the game he loves. Many comparisons are unfair, especially when it comes to NHLers, but Smith possesses a tremendous foundational skill set. Smith is arguably the best forward prospect to come out of New Brunswick in quite sometime. The St. Andrews, New Brunswick product competes on every puck in every situation all over the Ice. He’s a nasty player to play against, not because he’s dirty, because he’s mean and has tons of sandpaper to his game. You can guarantee Gabe Smith will finish every single hit available. He plays the game the right way in all three zones. Many players that are Smith’s size at that age are reluctant to throw their weight around, that’s certainly not the case. On average Smith throws four to five bone crushing hits a game. He’s defensively accountable in all three zones, thinks the game very well and has very active stick in all three zones. he’s as closest to “Q” ready a NB prospect has been since Lukas Cormier.
Smith can play both forward positions with relative ease. He logs massive minutes in every situation and distributes the puck very well through the middle. He has extremely soft hands and great puck skills in open ice and in high traffic areas. QMJHL teams will more than likely play him on the wing early on, but he could blossom into a 1st line two way center due in large part to his skating and off the charts compete level. He will have to improve in the face off dot to carry the first line center moniker at the next level, but he certainly possesses all the tools to be an elite Major Junior player and professional hockey player.
When it comes to the offensive side the game, Gabe Smith has incredible upside. He possesses a heavy accurate shot and can score from just about anywhere on the ice. His shot rivals that of many pros.
Felix Lacerte 5’9 LSF Trois-Riveres Estacades : solid skater, great vision and play making ability, good speed, solid two-way center, good stick in all three zones, good in the faceoff dot, solid deceptive release, will need to get a step faster and stronger to reach his full potential at the next level, has all the makings of a reliable two-way checking center with offensive upside at the Q level, creative on the half boards on the power play
Nathan Brisson 5’9 LSF St-Eustache Vikings: good skater, solid speed and agility, will need to get a step faster to fully excel as a shutdown checking center with offensive upside at the next level, extremely reliable two-way center, good in the dot, can log big minutes in any situation, good accurate release, good hands in tight,
Coen Miller 5’10 LSF Cole Harbour Wolfpack: great offensive instincts for the game, good puck skills, needs to work on his explosiveness, extremely deceptive accurate release, good hands and puck possession in traffic, will need to get more engaged in all three zones and stronger to reach his full potential at the Q level. Can play both forward positions, all the tools to be a solid Top 6 forward at the next level, it’s just going to take a little time, but can definitely contribute at that level
Marcus Kearsey 5’9 LSD Rothesay Netherwood School River Hawks: Extremely gifted skater, almost seems like he floats on the ice, smooth operator when it comes to the transition game, very good hands and puck skills, great instincts to jump into the play and join the rush, will have to pick and choose his spots a little bit better at the next level, but that will all come with experience, good release from the point position, solid gap control and active stick, will have to get stronger to make sure he wins his share of puck battles below the dots at the Q level Great compete level and element of grit to his game, plays with an edge, and is always looking to push the pace, as in many young transitional puck movers, sometimes less is more, but Marcus Kearsey has all the tools to be a highly effective transitional two and a half zone defender at the next level.
Vincent Desjardins 5’9 RSF St-Eustache Vikings : Strong skater, reliable two-way center, great puck skills, great in the face off dot, logs big minutes in any situation, very accurate quick release, great vision and passing ability, processes the game extremely well, great stick and body awareness on the defensive side of the puck, plays a lot bigger than his stature, will have to get stronger from an upper body perspective, but this kid is relentless and plays the game the right way shift in, shift out,
Reece Peitzsche 5’11 LSF Cole Harbour Wolfpack: great skater, good puck skills, solid hockey IQ, power forward in the making, needs to get a step quicker to reach full potential for the Q, can play both forward positions, but is a natural centreman, needs to trust his skills and skating a little more to ensure he gets to the net more frequently, great release, vision and playing making ability, calm, cool and collected running the power from the halfboards or the top, solid two-way presence, Peitzsche has all the tools to be a very effective forward at the next level.
Alexis Michaud 5’11 RSF Seminaire St-Francois Blizzard : strong skater, will have to a step quicker to reach full potential at the Major Junior level, good puck skills, can play both forward positions, but is a natural winger, power forward in the making, gets to the dirty areas of the ice almost every shift, great board play in the defensive zone, great passer and play maker from the wing position, extremely reliable two-way winger that takes pride in playing the game at both ends, type of player that can play up and down any line up, fantastic accurate release, heavy shot that can generate a lot of rebounds,
Louka Cloutier 5’10 LCG Magog Cantonniers : very athletic netminder, solid technique, moves well post to post, tracks pucks very well, is square to the shooter, fights for his space well in traffic, challenges the shooter, would like to see him telescope out a little quicker at times, plays a little deep at times, down a touch early, good glove, great rebound control, solid goaltending prospect
Felix Plamondon 5’11 LSD Seminaire St-Froncois Blizzard: strong skater, solid edges, will have to work on his explosiveness a touch, great instincts for the position, strong stick, processes the game very well, great first pass, knows when to pick and choose his times to join the rush, solid puck skills, good release from the point position, will have to get stronger upper body wise to inflict some damage down low, type of defender that can log big minutes in any situation or play any role within your defensive corps, won’t bring a lot of offence to the game, but that doesn’t really matter when you think about what Plamondon brings to the game, this kid can really play the position and takes a lot of pride in playing the game the right way in all three zones.
Marek Beaudoin 5’10 LSF St-Hyancinthe Gaulois: strong skater, solid edge work, good puck skills, processes the game very well, can play both forward positions, but is probably more comfortable on the wing, like many young wingers, he needs to work on some aspects of his defensive game to ensure he reaches his full potential at the Q level, solid stick, will need to get a little stronger to win board battles at the next level, good heavy accurate shot, good passer, very effective when he uses all of his tools to get to the net, solid two-way winger with tons of offensive upside in the making.
Alexis Boily 6’1 RSD St-Eustache Vikings: Good skater, will need to work on his quickness and mobility from a pivot and edges perspective to reach his full potential at the next level, good puck skills, good stick and gap control, won’t light the world on fire offensively, but will become a strong shut down two-zone defender if he continues to develop and progress, Boily will be a nasty defender to play against, many forwards will be reluctant to go in his corner shift after shift, because he will inflict some damage physically, good first pass and instincts for the game, the team that will draft this kid won’t be disappointed, he is the type of kid that will get better and better with experience and will be able to log massive minutes, important minutes in a shutdown role
Anthony Biakabutuka 6’2 LSD College Charles-Lemoyne Riverains: Good skater for his size, will have to work on his explosiveness and mobility to excel at the next level, strong physical presence, very good active stick, solid gap control and a good first pass, good release from the point position, processes the game well, fantastic compete level, great shot blocker, you can tell this kid loves the game of hockey and will do just about anything to achieve his goals within the game, Will become a strong two-zone defender at the next level, a shutdown D-man that will be incredibly difficult to play against, won’t bring a ton of offense, but thinks the game well enough to join the rush and distribute pucks effectively.