Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NHL draft. It's Like I Am Just Giving Away My Babies

The NHL draft is this weekend and I have compiled a list of all of the QMJHL players on the NHL draft list from Central Scouting Services, along with their expected draft position and round. I have been meaning to do this post now for about two weeks, but I have been too lazy to dig through my team photos to find pictures of all of the boys.

I will start of course with the goaltenders, because goalies make me feel all funny down there. Tomorrow I will cover the skaters. Do not expect me to cover skaters like I covered goalies; skaters and I aren't down like that.

In addition, TSN has posted a list of their top 60 prospects, some of our Q boys are on there, including one of today's subjects Jake Allen of the (oh fuck it) St John's Fog Devils and 2008 Canada under 18 team. Jake is ranked by TSN at #31. Peter Delmas of the Lewiston Maineiacs gets an honourable mention. Before I get to the list may I just say that I am still completely mesmerized by Zach Boychuk and Maxime Sauve's eyebrows. TSN's pics are an eyebrow fetishists dream come true. Zach Bogosain is the newest member in my club. Let's all give him a warm welcome.

Of the 30 goalies listed by Central Scouting Services, 7 play in the QMJHL. I have included links (click name) to their game-by-game stats. The goalies are are listed by

Rank, Name, Team, Games played, GAA, Minutes, Save %:

3 Peter Delmas, LEWISTON, 34, 2.84, 1987, 0.903
7 Kevin Poulin, VICTORIAVILLE 52, 3.69, 2733, 0.887
8 Jake Allen, ST. JOHN'S 30, 3.14, 1507, 0.901
14 Robert Mayer, SAINT JOHN 32, 3.77, 1669, 0.877
20 Marco Cousineau, BAIE-COMEAU 58, 2.81, 3226, 0.903
22 Mathieu Leclair, BAIE-COMEAU 22, 2.92, 1005, 0.896
26 Nicolas Champion, BATHURST 38, 2.96, 2130, 0.857

Delmas, Poulin, Allen, Mayer, Champion

Delmas is definitely the dude to hold the top spot amoung Q- goalies, and deservedly so. He has been rockin' it consistently for two years, so we have a pretty good idea of what this kid can do. Like his mentor Bernier, his biggest asset is positioning. You can't really take away from his skill by saying he does what he does only because he plays for a team with a good defensive system. If I had to choose between Delmas and Allen, I would go with Delmas. Delmas makes me feel safe, warm, loved. He has only been usurped by Allen recently because of Allen's stellar performance at the World Under 18s, in which Canada walked away with the gold and Allen won MVP of the tournament.
*edit - Wuest has a new article on Delmas in the Metro. There is a picture - he is adorable like a snappy lobster.

It is not that I don't like Jake Allen, but he has lost more than he has won and he has been outplayed by a number of goalies who are far lower on this list than him. Furthermore, I just have not seen enough of him, and neither have all of these people who are projecting him to go in the second round. Ya know what though, that little MF is gonna go high. I feel it in my bones, I feel it in my sitemeter. Jake is a good puck handing goaltender and he has that same sexy little cross crease wiggle that I have seen Travis Fullerton do. I do not know what is in the water in new Brunswick to make these boys move and puck handle like they do, but it is a sight to behold. That wiggle ain't right. No really it ain't right, I think it may be technically incorrect and lazy, but it works for these boys somehow... and it looks damn sexy.
* edit - An interview with Jake can be downloaded at the pipeline show

What I can tell you is that Jake Allen definitely deserves to be ahead of Kevin Poulin in the Central Scouting report. Kevin Poulin is a temperamental ragdoll. I think that Victoriaville probably rode this kid into the ground when there was absolutely no need to do so. They had perfectly cromulent goaltender in Blanchard during the first half, and overplayed Poulin in the second half behind a weaker team. According to an older report from in La Nouvelle L'union, written about the time of the Combine, Poulin was expected to have talks with the Hurricanes and about 11 other NHL franchises.

Swiss import Robert Mayer had mad skillz half of the time, the other half the time he was just standing around dreaming of lollipops and ponies with sparkles in their flowing manes. Either that or he was all distracted by his sexy teammates. I mean honestly, who wouldn't be. He, like many of us (me) will have one less distraction with Travis Fullerton having outgrown the Q. Robert can do stretchy moves like its no-ones business where or how he learned those stretchy moves. Furthermore, he does those stretchy moves with little cost to his own wellbeing. He needs to work more on his attentiveness (it is not all about impressing me with stretchy moves), positioning and rebound control. Either that or he needs to join a circus.

Champion only joined the Q at the Christmas trading period, and he did not get much icetime until late January when his goaltending counterpart Antoine Tardif, a boy who was apparently not long for scouting lists since he has fallen completely off the map, got injured. The Titan rode Champion like I would ride a goalie - long and hard. He plays flashy in the net, but if I recall correctly he is not big on adventurous puckhandling. Anyway, the kid was worn out by playoffs, no doubt. He had absolute moments of brilliance, but by the end of the season it was pretty much guaranteed that if you got those shots on net, some of them were going to slip by.

I cannot tell you much about LeClair or Cousineau, except to say that they played on a defensively minded team. The Moose faced these guys only twice all season, once at home, once on the road, and both times Cousineau was in nets. What I can tell you is that we shut them out: 4-0 the first try, and we were about 30 seconds from shutting them out 4-0 on our second go.

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