Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings’ Joseph Veleno takes First Step toward NHL Dream

Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has signed center Joseph Veleno to a three-year entry-level contract. The 30th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has enjoyed a prolific season in the QMJHL with the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

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The morning that the Detroit Red Wing 2018 Development Camp opens and the new year draftees are having their first media availability since the draft. In a generally routine exercise, prospects talk about how honoured they are to be drafted and speak about how making the NHL is going to require hard work. Most players follow suit with the vanilla answers to anything and everything, much like most of the NHL players. Everyone is on their best behaviour.

While the majority prospects are quoted with fairly common hockey mannerisms, the 30th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Joseph Veleno expressed his opinion on his draft position.

I don’t think I was a 30th pick. I think I could have gone a lot earlier, in my opinion… But for sure it motivates me even more to be better than all those players that went ahead of me and turn out to be the best player in that draft.

This after fellow 2018 first round pick of the Red Wings Filip Zadina stated that he would fill the nets of teams that passed on him as he fell to Detroit after being tabbed to go third by many before the draft. These are the type of players that the Red Wings drafted. Fiery, motivated blue-chip prospects with chips on their shoulders.

Veleno Scouting Report

Granted exceptional-status in the QMJHL in 2015, Veleno was drafted and playing for the Saint Johns Sea Dogs as just a 15-year-old. After a mid season trade to the Drummondville Voltigeurs in his NHL draft year, Veleno exploded with 48 points in just 33 games with his new club. The outstanding season by the Montréal native was good enough for the Red Wings to take him at the back end of the first round.

An excellent skater who has break-away speed. Veleno is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer but he’s been able to put the puck in the net as well. His on-ice vision is outstanding and his ability to make everyone around him better is an asset that will make him a play driver at the next level. The Drummondville center has been an elite-level passer, able to thread the puck through opponents sticks, putting it on the tape of teammates with consistency.

His 200-foot game has developed over the last 12 months and he has become a reliable player in every facet of the game. His defensive zone coverage has been exceptional as he’s been able to get into the passing lanes and transition the puck up the ice without issue. He plays a smart and mature game almost assuring that he will stay at center in the NHL.

While he isn’t a physical player in the traditional sense, he isn’t afraid of going to the dirty areas. He is proficient at using his stick to dig pucks out from scrums and making the smart play with it. One of the knocks on Veleno’s game has been his hesitancy to shoot the puck, as he has a good shot but he’s done that more this season. He possesses NHL size and will excel in the fast-paced modern NHL.

Draft +1 Season

After impressing at Red Wings training camp, Veleno was sent back to Drummondville. He had three objectives going into what he hoped would be his final junior hockey season. Make the Canadian world junior team, improve his play defensively and win the QMJHL scoring title. He undeniably accomplished two of the three, save for the scoring title. He ended up finishing with 104 points in 59 games, good for fourth in the league. This was 7 points behind league leader and over-ager Peter Abbandonato.

The scoring title is dependant on how you look at it considering he missed a chunk of the season while with Team Canada. When you take into account points-per-game however, Veleno finished first among players with at least 30 games played. His 1.763 PPG was just ahead of 2020 draft eligible phenom Alexis Lafrenière who had 1.721 PPG. Veleno was an absolute scoring machine in the QMJHL this season. He couldn’t be happier with how his season had gone in the QMJHL.

Canadian World Junior Team

Despite making the Canadian World Junior team, his championship dreams were not met. Veleno’s own performance mirrored the Canadian teams. With only two assists in five games, the two-way center couldn’t prevent a disappointing 6th place finish by the Canadian team. This was the second time in the last four years that Canada has placed 6th, as they also did so in 2016.

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Veleno accomplishes his goal of competing for Canada came in the form of him taking on a bottom-six role, playing a shut down role. Despite the lacking offensive stats, he was relied on as their defensive center and Veleno thrived in that role. Despite that absolutely pitiful performance by Canada as a whole in this tournament, Veleno continued to grow in his development at both ends of the ice.

Return to Drummondville

After the heartache of losing in overtime to Finland at the World Juniors, Veleno came back to the ‘Q’ with a vengeance. The center took his game to another level, fully dominating at both ends of the ice. Putting up 50 points in his last 31 games, he began to take over the QMJHL. His performance lead to him leading the league in points-per-game.

The outstanding season earned Veleno a nomination for the Michel-Brière Trophy, the most valuable player in the QMJHL. While he didn’t capture the MVP award, he did secure 1st team All-star honours. The goals that Veleno set for himself at the beginning of the season had been crushed. Veleno had done what he set out to do. Prove that he is done with junior hockey.

What does 2019-20 hold?

At the age of 20, Veleno will be eligible to play in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins. This means that Veleno is unlikely to go back to junior hockey as the Red Wings will look for the two-way center to take the next step in his development.

The 2018 first rounder will look to have a strong training camp, hoping to crack the NHL squad. That could be a tall task for a player who likely needs to play top-none minutes at a minimum to effectively play his game. Beginning next season with the Griffins allows him to play a lot minutes in a professional men’s league. It also allows him to be close to the Detroit development staff including Director of Player Development Shawn Horcoff who has been raved about as one of the best development coaches in the league.

Overall the 30th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft is out to prove one thing. Every team that passed on him, passed on a player that could be among the best in the draft. If you ask Veleno himself, they passed in the best. He’s ready to prove that.

For more on the NHL, follow me here at @TheTonyFerrari on twitter!

All stats and info is from nhl.comhockey-reference.com, theAHL.com and Eliteprospects.com

Special thanks to the Detroit Free Press for the quotes.

QMJHL Playoffs: Semifinals Finals Preview

As exciting as the first round was, the second round of the QMJHL playoffs were much more brief. Two of the four series were sweeps, while the other two saw the eliminated team only win a single game. It will be interesting to see if the semifinals will be short like round two, or if fans will see two very competitive and longer series with a trip to the President’s Cup Finals on the line. With the ‘Q’s format, the final four are re-seeded, with now having the semis consist of inter-conference matchups.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies vs. Rimouski Oceanic

This is the closest the Oceanic have come to the Finals since they won the President’s Cup back in 2015. They have made it this far in short order. After an easy sweep of Chicoutimi, Rimouski took care of Cape Breton in five games. They are the only team in the semis to only have one loss to their name this postseason. Of course, Alexis Lafreniere was on top of his game, as per usual. After eight points in round one, the future first round pick scored 10 points in the second round, maintaining his two-point-per-game average. Olivier Garneau played exceptional, as the over-aged winger scored eight points against the Screaming Eagles. Despite giving up eight goals in round two, Colton Ellis looked good in net. The Nova Scotian had a .936 SV%, including a shutout in game three.

The Huskies got their act together after the slip up against Shawinigan. Rouyn-Noranda burned through Victoriaville in four games, and look to make it to the finals for the third time in franchise history. The Tigres only scored three goals in the series. Much thanks to the play of the Huskies’ back end with players such as Noah Dobson and Justin Bergeron and Samuel Harvey in net. Peter Abbandonato scored eight more points in round two, increasing his playoff scoring lead with 21 points. Joel Teasdale was steady throughout the series, including a big game in game four where the Montreal prospect scored a hat trick. 

This matchup could have very different outcomes. It could go the distance, or one team could make quick work of their opponent. The Huskies won all four meetings between the two, outscoring the Oceanic by a score of 20-7. The Oceanic have not had the toughest of opponents in their first two series, and have not had to play against a tough defence and top-notch goaltender such as Harvey. This means Ellis will have to stand on his head to give Rimouski a chance in this series. 

My Pick

Each game will be tight, but that does not mean there will be a lot of them. Huskies in five.

Drummondville Voltigeurs vs. Halifax Mooseheads

The Voltigeurs come in to their first semifinal since 2010 looking to make it to the President’s Cup Final for the first time since they won back in 2009. After an easy series against Gatineau, Drummondville eased their way passed Sherbrooke in five games. The first two games saw the Voltigeurs outscore the Phoenix 16-5. After Sherbrooke earned a win on home ice, Drummondville won game four, and ended the series in exciting fashion, as Maxime Comtois’ fourth goal of the series in the second overtime eliminated the Phoenix. Felix Lauzon was big contributor in the series. The Roxton Pond, PQ native scored five goals and two assists against the Phoenix. Pavel Koltygin also had a breakout series, as the Nashville prospect garnered eight points in the five game series, leading the Voltigeurs in round two.

After a tight series against Quebec in round one, the Mooseheads took their second round matchup against Moncton much more seriously. That does not mean the Wildcats gave everything they had against the best team in the East. Three of the four games were determined by two goals because of empty net goals by Halifax. However, the Mooseheads were able to get the job done swiftly to move onto the semis for the first time since 2014. Raphael Lavoie continued his impressive postseason, scoring six goals in the series. Antoine Morand stepped up his game in round two. The Anaheim draft pick only scored four points against Quebec in the first round, but really helped out the offence with seven assists in the four-game sweep.

Two very talented offences heading into this series. Drummondville was able to show against Sherbrooke they have more offence than just Joseph Veleno, who only scored three points in Drummondville’s five game series. Where it seemed Halifax needed to rely on Lavoie in round one, the resurgence of Morand gives optimism for the Mooseheads offence. While Jared McIsaac was solid in his own zone, he will have to help out offencively if Halifax wants to hang with the high-flying Drummondville attack. The teams only played twice this season, with each team picking up the win on the road.

My Pick

While Drummondville is playing for a chance to make it to make it to the Memorial Cup, Halifax as the host is not. That will be a factor in this series, and the Voltigeurs will come away with the series in six games.

All statistics and records from the QMJHL and Elite Prospects.

Puck77 has an agreement with the QMJHL to use their logo as our featured image.

QMJHL Playoffs: Second Round Preview

QMJHL Playoffs: Second Round Preview

After a couple of interesting series, including three game sevens, the second round is set. Some teams that were expected to make it to this point almost did not, while a couple of clubs surprised many by making it this far. This makes up for four matchups that are sure to watched closely, because, as we saw in round one, anything can happen.

Eastern Conference

(1) Halifax Mooseheads vs. (7) Moncton Wildcats

Moncton turned things around and was able to upset Baie-Comeau in a seven-game thriller, and are the lowest seed to make it to the second round. The Wildcats were led by Jeremy McKenna once again, with 11 points in the series, and four multi-point games. Mika Cyr was huge in this series. Moncton’s four wins came in the four games where Cyr got a point, and he had 10 in the series, including the game-winning goal in game seven. Gabriel Sylvestre was an important piece on the blueline, with five assists, and was never a minus in a single game in the series, finishing with +6 rating.

The Mooseheads are coming into the second round after surviving a seven-game series against the Quebec Remparts, where Halifax went down 2-0, and needed to win games six and seven to advance. Raphael Lavoie led the league in scoring in the first round with 13 points, and his seven goals were also the most among fellow QMJHLers. Only games one and seven saw Lavoie held to less than two points. Maxim Trepanier missed most of the last two months of the season with concussion-like symptoms, but still averaged a point a game in the regular season. After missing game one, Trepanier put up six points in six games. 

With the Mooseheads hosting of the Memorial Cup, they may not feel the pressure to win, which was noticeable in their series against Quebec. The Wildcats had to scratch and claw (no pun intended) to slow down one of the best offences in the league, thanks to the play of the d-core and netminder Francis Leclerc. While Moncton only won two games in the regular season against Halifax, the desperation they played with in the first round could be the difference in this round two matchup.

My Pick

Halifax right now is going through the motions, and the Wildcats want it more. It’ll be close, but Moncton in seven.

(3) Rimouski Oceanic vs. (5) Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

Rimouski was the lone team to move on in the minimum number of games, as they took care of Chicoutimi in four games, including a marathon game two where D’Artagnan Joly’s scored his lone goal in the series in the fourth overtime. Alexis Lafreniere was exceptional as always, averaging two points a game in this series, leading the team. Lafreniere’s linemate, Jimmy Huntington, scored seven points in the series, with three-point performances in games one and three. Colton Ellis was solid in goal for the Oceanic, only giving up 11 goals on 148 shots, including making 53 saves in the game two overtime win.

Cape Breton is coming off upending Charlottetown in a six game series where the Islanders went up 2-0, before the Screaming Eagles reeled off four straight victories. Three of which were one goal games, with the series-clinching game six ending in overtime after Egor Sokolov’s fourth goal of the series. The man who tied that game to send it to overtime, Mitchell Balmas, was stellar throughout the series. With five goals and six assists, his 11 points were tied for the third-most points in first round scoring. Kevin Mandolese was clutch in net for Cape Breton. After allowing eight goals in the first two games, the Ottawa prospect only allowed nine the rest of the series.

These two teams play vastly different styles. Rimouski likes to open up and use their offence to dictate the game, whereas Cape Breton will do their best to grind their opponent down to win. Rimouski, of course, will be rested heading into game one, as they have not played since March 27th. The teams only met twice in the regular season, with the Screaming Eagles pulling out two, one-goal, victories.

My Pick

Rimouski’s rest will hurt them at first, but the Screaming Eagles will fall off late in the series. Oceanic in seven.

Western Conference

(1) Rouyn-Noranda Huskies vs. (4) Victoriaville Tigres 

Victoriaville punched their ticket to the second round in the most dramatic way possible. After winning game six to force a game seven against Val-d’Or, Olivier Mathieu’s second goal of the series 35 seconds into overtime won the Tigres the game and the series. Simon Lafrance and Dominic Cormier led the Victoriaville offence in the first round, with each scoring nine points. Lafrance was clutch for the Tigres, as he had two points in both games six and seven. Similar to Lafrance, Cormier managed to earn three multi-point games in the seven games.

The Huskies had their struggles against the Shawinigan Cataractes, as Shawinigan won their first game since February 9th in game two, then won again in game four. However, routs in games five and six by the Huskies put any thoughts of an upset to bed. Peter Abbandonato was the dominant playmaker in Rouyn-Noranda’s first round as he was in the regular season. With 11 assists in the six games, his 13 points tied Lavoie for most in round one. Noah Dobson showed that he is back to form, as he scored 10 points from the blueline.

While the Huskies had issues with lowly Shawinigan in the first round, do not expect them to overlook another opponent, especially a scrappy team like Victoriaville. Rouyn-Noranda won all four games in the regular season, but the Tigres put up good efforts at home, with both games only being decided by a single goal. Tristan Cote-Cazenave was clutch for the Tigres against Val-d’Or, but he does not measure up to Samuel Harvey, who, despite losing twice, was still one of the better netminders in the first round with a 1.90 GAA and .912 SV%.

My Pick

Huskies will not take the Tigres lightly, Rouyn-Noranda in five.

(2) Drummondville Volitgeurs vs. (3) Sherbrooke Phoenix

After being stunned in game one against Blainville-Boisbriand, Sherbrooke settled down and ran through the next four games to move passed the Armada into round two. Samuel Poulin led the charge for the Phoenix offence, scoring nine points in the five-game series. Felix Robert produced well for Sherbrooke, as he scored eight points in the series, including a three-point night in game three. Dakota Lund-Cornish was exceptional in net, only allowing 10 goals on 134 shots with a shutout in a bounce-back game two win.

The Volitgeurs had an easy time beating the Gatineau Olympiques in the first round in five games. Joseph Veleno was ever impressive, with a hat trick in game one, and three more points in game five on his way to nine points against Gatineau. Maxime Comtois was also a solid goal scorer for Drummondville, as he potted four goals in the series. Anthony Morrone had the easiest workload compared to the rest of the league, but he only allowed nine goals in the series with a shutout to boot.

This series will come down to effort. It may sound cliché, but if the Phoenix want any shot against the talented Voltigeur lineup, they are going to have outwork them for an entire seven-game series. It will be tough, especially since Drummondville swamped the Phoenix in the six regular season meetings. The Voltigeurs won all six games, outscoring 33-9 in the process. 

My Pick

Too much offence for one team to handle, Drummondville in five.

All statistics and records from the QMJHL and Elite Prospects.

Puck77 has an agreement with the QMJHL to use their logo as our featured image.

QMJHL Playoffs: Western Conference First Round Preview

QMJHL Playoffs: Western Conference First Round Preview

It’s that time of year, birds are chirping, the snow is melting, and 16 teams prep for hockey’s second season…the playoffs. All three leagues in the CHL have different formats for the postseason, with the QMJHL have the older format the NHL used, where eight teams from each conference would make the postseason. After, Shawinigan forced Victoriaville to overtime Saturday night, they would clinch the final playoff spot, giving all eight teams in the Western Conference a spot in the postseason. It will be interesting to see how some of the middle-seeds will battle it out, as well as if there are any upsets waiting in the wings. 

(1) Rouyn-Noranda Huskies vs. (8) Shawinigan Cataractes

As stated before, the Cataractes squeaked their way into the way into the postseason in the final game of their regular season, despite not having won a game since February 9th. Jan Drozg and Mavrik Bourque have led the teams in scoring, as Drozg has been the lone point-a-game player for Shawinigan with 62 points in 60 games. Bourque’s 54 points is second on the team, and second in the league among rookie scoring. 

However, the Cataractes will be heavily outmatched against the best team in the CHL, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. From the start of the season, the Huskies have had the pedal to the medal, and ran through the entire QMJHL. Peter Abbandonato has been the club’s MVP, with his 111 points and 82 assists atop the league’s best. Samuel Harvey is odds-on favourite to win the Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy for league’s best goaltender, and a candidate for the CHL Goaltender of the Year award as well.

My Pick

Huskies win the series 4-0

(2) Drummondville Volitgeurs vs. (7) Gatineau Olympiques

Finishing second in the entire league, the Voltigeurs have been an uber-simplistic hockey club. Put pucks in the net and keep pucks out of the net. Drummondville led the entire CHL in goals scored with the deepest offence in the league. Joseph Veleno’s 104 points is fourth in the league, while the Volts’ second-leading scorer Nicolas Guay is tied for eighth in league scoring with 87. Olivier Rodrigue is another top netminder in the QMJHL, with his 35 wins tied for the most with the Huskies’ Harvey, and his 2.43 GAA is second to Harvey.

Gatineau coming in does not nearly have the same level of attack up front as their opponents in this series. That said, Giordano Finoro will have to really step up if the Olympiques want any chance in this series. Coming in from the blueline, Gabriel Bilodeau has produced at a rather steady rate this season. His 48 points saw him finish 10th among ‘Q’ defencemen in scoring.

My Pick

Drummondville’s offense is just too much, and will sweep the Olympiques in four games.

(3) Sherbrooke Phoenix vs. (6) Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

The Armada were a team that sat towards the bottom of the league through the first 3/4 of the season. However, their play as of late moved them from a seven or eight seed up to the sixth seed. Despite losing to Val-d’Or and Rouyn-Noranda to end the regular season, Boisbriand won five out of six games before that. Playmaker Luke Henman has had an exceptional end to his regular season, as he totaled 14 points in his last 16 games. Former Phoenix netminder Brendan Cregan will have to be huge in net if the Armada want any success in this series.

The Phoenix really limped into this postseason. Granted finishing 30 points behind dominant second-place Drummondville does not look good on paper, however losing nine of their last 11 games does not look good by any stretch, especially since they went 7-4-1 in the February. If they want to rebound in time to pick up the series win, top gun Samuel Poulin will have to step up. Despite his team’s inconsistency towards the end of the regular season, Poulin continued to produce offencively, riding a seven-game point streak into the playoffs.

My Pick

Despite the Phoenix having more offencive talent, goaltending will be the factor, and the Armada will take the series in six.

(4) Victoriaville Tigres vs. (5) Val-d’Or Foreurs

Probably the closest series on paper, Victoriaville and Val-d’Or could be one of the longer series in the first round as well. The Tigres will need the week to refocus, after only winning two of their final six games, including a sweep to the Armada two weeks ago. Victoriaville is led up front by a pair of rookies, as Egor Serdyuk and Mikhail Abramov have been the go-to guys in the Tigres need a goal. Serdyuk leads all QMJHL rookies in points and goals with 25 and 65, respectively, while Abramov is third amongst newcomers with 54 points.

While Victoriaville lost four of their final six games to end the season, their opponent Val-d’Or won four of their final six. Which included two close games against Rimouski, where the Foreurs defeated the Oceanic, and lost in overtime to the Eastern Conference foe. Leading scorer Julien Tessier has been hot as he has been held pointless only three times this calendar year. Goaltender Jonathan Lemieux has been big, winning his last three starts while posting a 2.36 GAA and .935 SV% in the month of March.

My Pick

Home ice will be key in this series, but in game seven anything is possible. Foreurs in seven.

All statistics and records found from the QMJHL and Elite Prospects

Puck77 has an agreement with the QMJHL to use their logo as our featured image.

Drummondville Voltigeurs

Drummondville Voltigeurs: Offence Setting the Pace Towards the Postseason

The playoff picture is starting to take shape in the QMJHL, with 15 of the 16 seeds all locked up. Some of the biggest stories have been the dominance of Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, the sudden rise of Baie-Comeau Drakkar, and Alexis Lafreniere dragging Rimouski Océanic into playoff contention. But, the team hat has been overlooked so far has been the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

It is difficult to not notice this powerhouse, but as they sit second in the league, it is old hat for one of the longest-standing clubs in the ‘Q’. While Drummondville knows they would probably have to play the Huskies in order to win the President’s Cup, the Voltigeurs could see a ride deep into the playoffs.

The only more offencively dominant team in this millennium than Drummondville this year was the Memorial Cup-winning Halifax Mooseheads in 2012-13. That team scored 347 goals in the regular season. This year’s Voltigeurs have scored 320 goals, leading Rouyn-Noranda by a 20-goal margin. This has been the help of a dominant four lines who have all been able to produce in the team’s first 62 games. With eight players over 50 points, and four of which with 75+ points. Only Baie-Comeau has four players with over 70 points, but the Drakkar’s efficiency is nowhere near the productivity Drummondville has had this season.

The Two Nicolai

On the backend, Nicolas Beaudin has developed into one of the best two-way defencemen in the league. With his +60 plus-minus being third-best in the league, he has also been one of the highest scoring blue-liners as well. His 56 points this season is third among defencemen in the ‘Q’, with his 49 assists tied for 7th in the entire league. The Chicago Blackhawks draft pick had an incredible January, where he put up 18 points in 12 games, including a seven-game point streak.

Another Nicolas who has been extremely valuable for the Voltigeurs is Nicolas Guay. Guay was initially drafted by Chicoutimi, but after the Sagueneens gave up on him after this rookie season, he signed with Drummondville. In his three seasons with the Voltigeurs, his stats have steadily improved, as has his potential. Despite being undrafted, he has shown this season why an NHL should give the Sherbrooke-native a shot. Guay has 81 points in his 60 games this year, and has had an outstanding last few months. With 18 points in December, 19 in January, and 18 in February, Guay is one of the hottest players in the league.

The Veleno Show

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The only player on the Voltigeur roster hotter than Guay has to be Drummondville’s leading-scorer, Joseph Veleno. The former Saint John Sea Dog has been incredible this year. His 99 points sits him only behind Alexis Lafreniere and Peter Abbandonato in league scoring. There has only been one month where Veleno scored less than 10 points, and that was a September where he only played two games. Since January 1st, Veleno has scored 45 points in 26 games. With his incredible playmaking ability and excellent scoring touch, Veleno’s 58 assists sit him third in the QMJHL, while his 41 goals are tied for third currently with Moncton’s Jeremy McKenna. There is no question that Veleno should be a candidate for the Michel Briere Trophy for league MVP.

A ‘Special’ Group

Any team can be solid 5-on-5, however the real test to see a team’s merit is their play while up or down a man. The Voltigeurs have one of the top power play units, as their 27.2% success rate is fourth in the league. Veleno has been the big setup man with the man advantage, with his 20 assists on the PP eighth-best in the QMJHL. However, one of the most surprising offencive outputs from Drummondville has not come while up a man, but while down a man. Granted, their 77.1% penalty kill rate is not the greatest, but the amount offence they have created while at a disadvantage is impressive. Guay and Veleno are tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals with seven. Roxton Pond, Que. native Felix Lauzon is tied for third in the league in shorthanded assists with three, and Brandon Skubel leads the QMJHL with six apples while down a man.

Don’t Forget About the Guy in Net

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While the Voltigeurs’ offence has been staggering, they would not be in same position in the standings had it not been for the play of Edmonton Oilers prospect Olivier Rodrigue. Chicoutimi-native has 35 wins in 48 games this year, tops in the league. With a 2.43 GAA that is fourth in the ‘Q’, and .901 SV% that is 10th, Rodrigue has been big when called upon for Drummondville. In the month of February, the Edmonton prospect was arguably one of the best goaltenders in the league. Rodrigue went 8-1, with a 1.64 GAA and .927 SV%. Only Halifax’s Alexis Gravel was better than the Voltigeurs’ net-minder.

As it was previously stated, the road to the President Cup Finals will most likely go through Rouyn-Noranda. However, the Voltigeurs certainly have the firepower to outscore their opponents, and they have a goaltender that can hold the fort when called upon. For a team that’s lone championship came back in 2009, it may be time to consider Drummondville a viable threat to take the QMJHL crown.

stats from eliteprospects.com and theqmjhl.ca

Puck77 has an agreement with the QMJHL to use their logo as our featured image.