Players to Watch in 2022-2023 Series 4: Simon Maltais

Simon Maltais is entering his third season in the QMJHL and it would be easy to say that he has flown under the radar. Perhaps some would say he’s flown under the radar his entire career. That could all change this season because Simon Maltais is a player to watch in 2022-2023.

Who is Simon Maltais?

Simon Maltais has come a long way. From a 14th round draft pick to a regular on the Oceanic blueline. There’s no question Maltais is coming into his own and is definitely amongst several underrated defenders in the league. The 19-year-old is a smooth skating 6’5 left shooting, stay at home rearguard that move pucks and plays with an edge. There’s no question some would say that Maltais took an unconventional route to the QMJHL playing at three different prep schools before his debut in the Q.

Photo Credit Iften Redjah/Foliophoto

Maltais’ path to the Q is yet another great example that every player is unique when it comes to their developmental time frame and that it shouldn’t matter where you play or where others believe you should play, it’s all about the process. Different pathways within the game often lead to success either way especially when the player trusts the process.

Those that know Simon Maltais, know him well and know his path, those that don’t will definitely take notice this season. It’s hard to believe that a 6’5 quality skater would go unnoticed, but Maltais is the type of player that doesn’t necessary jump off the page. He’s not flashy, but just gets the job done shift in, shift out. Diehard Nic’s fans and followers understand his value and appreciates what he brings to the game and position on a nightly basis.

Maltais worked incredibly hard this summer with Rick Leger and Derek Cormier’s Pro Evolution Hockey programming in Dieppe, New Brunswick. Maltais’ skating and edge control is extremely impressive given his size. He processes the game very well and has a great active stick in all three zones. Again, I might be preaching to the choir for those that already know the player, but players like Maltais often go unnoticed in their first few seasons in the QMJHL, given their place or role in the lineup, but their value skyrockets in their third and fourth years within the circuit.

There’s no question, hard work pays off and Simon Maltais definitely put in the extra effort and work this summer. The Rimouski Oceanic have a history of drafting and developing great talent. That trend is continuing as the Nic’s continue to build towards a potential President Cup contender in the years to come. Simon Maltais has the capacity to log massive minutes in every situation for Serge Beausoliel’s hockey club and if given the opportunity will allow the Oceanic’s young talented core group time to grow. The rangy defender is more than ready to take on an even larger role with the Oceanic this season.

Simon Maltais has never been in the spotlight, but this season could be different it could be his year to shine in the QMJHL.

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