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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Look at Team QMJHL

Here's a look at the QMJHL squad's draft eligible players assembled to play against the Russian Juniors in the Subway Super Series. I don't get to see more than a handfull of QMJHL games, so i am counting on other scouting reports on the players.

I know this is an OHL blog, but i think it's important to look at some of the other top players from the other leagues.

Sean Couturier - from Dan Sallows

After all the excitement of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft comes to a hault, it will be time to put our focus onto the list of 2011 draft prospects that features some bona fide high calibre talent. Atop that list is Drummondville Voltigeurs star Sean Couturier. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound centre, is a special player to say the least, and is a unique blend of size and skill that NHL scouts could only dream of. This season, the 17-year-old phenom led the QMJHL in scoring 41 goals and 96 points in 68 games en route to taking home the Jean BĂ©liveau trophy. Couturier also led the Q in plus/minus, finishing with a remarkable plus-62 on the year. He is a smooth skater with great acceleration, a brilliant stick-handler, has great vision and hockey sense, to go with a good, hard, accurate shot that he utilizes at every opportunity. He has been sensational on the international stage, scoring 9 points (5G,4A) in 5 games for Team Atlantic at the 2009 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, and won a gold at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Under-18 tournament as well. Like many great young players, Couturier has strong hockey bloodlines, as his father Sylvain was selected 65th overall in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. Sean Couturier is simply an exceptional individual, on and off the ice, who’s hard work, sacrifices and dedication to the game are paying huge dividends. I had a chance to catch up with the player, that many believe will be the first overall selection in 2011, for a quick Q and A.

To view the question and answer, click here

Nathan Beaulieu - from Kirk Luedeke

Jurco's junior teammate is a pretty good package of skill, size (6-2, 175) and upside for this draft, and will no doubt have the scouts flocking to the Maritimes this season to get a closer look. After a real solid performance at Team Canada World Junior Evaluation Camp last month, Beaulieu seems in store for bigger and better things. Another December 1992 born player, he's entering his third season of major junior after breaking out with a 12-goal, 45-point effort last year (he tallied two goals 10 points as a rookie in '08-09). He's a smooth skater with nice acceleration and an ability to rev it up into another gear, and is a player who isn't afraid to jump up into the play. A strong puck-moving defenseman, he uses a combination of vision, hockey intellect and good hands to set the breakout and help his team with the transition game.

For more on Beaulieu, check out Kirk's blog here

Guillaume Asselin -  Kyle Woodlief of Red Line Report had this to say late last season.

" Medium-sized, offensive finesse guy is starting to look a little slow off the mark and hasn't been creating nearly as many chances of late. Needs to pick up the pace."

Add this from Premium Scouting Report

"Asselin is a very inconsistent player; one game he could be good and the next he may be invisible. He really needs to improve his skating if he wants to be able to play at the next level. His shot is good and his passing skills are decent, but they both could use some improvement. He has a small body which is part of the reason why he isn’t very physical. He does have good offensive hockey sense but really lacks it in the defensive end."

Jonathan Huberdeau

The Hockey News - Huberdeau was named the sixth best player at the NHL’s RDO Camp by THN.
With basically the exact same frame as Nugent-Hopkins, Huberdeau, naturally, has to put on some weight himself, but he does bring great instincts to the ice and some nice quickness. Huberdeau was also a member of Canada’s gold medal Ivan Hlinka team and certainly did his part along the way.

Crash the Crease - Unlike teammate Tomas Jurco, Huberdeau is a more methodical player who reads and anticipates the movement of the play well. His lanky frame, quick release wrist shot and hockey sense bring to mind recent Q graduate Derick Brassard. It’s easier to see Huberdeau as a playmaker as opposed to a finisher at the NHL level, though he certainly has goal scoring upside. He’ll have to get bigger if he wants to be a reliable offensive option at the next level. Some scouts have him in their early top ten, but I see him more reliably as a 12-16 pick right now.

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