Five Quebecers knock on the NHL’s door


Colorado Avalanche players have just received the Stanley Cup when all eyes are on the 2022-23 season with the upcoming amateur draft and the opening of the free agent market.

If few Quebec hockey players are prime candidates to get their hands on the Calder trophy next season, while Owen Power, Matthew Beniers or Shane Wright appear to be starting with an advantage, several home skaters could carve out a steady position with their training. , such as Alexandre Carrier, Joe Veleno and Nicolas Meloche in 2021-22.

Here are five young Quebec hockey players who could join their organization’s roster during the 2022-23 campaign:

Thomas Bordeleau – Sharks of San Jose

After defending the Michigan Wolverines colors for two years, Bordeleau made the leap to the pros during the final season. The son of former Canadian Sébastien Bordeleau and grandson of former Nordiques Paulin Bordeleau also ended the 2021-22 season with the Sharks, racking up five assists in eight games. In San Jose, it is increasingly clear that the organization is taking a youthful turn after having had some great seasons with an aging core. Several opportunities for offensive positions are therefore likely to present themselves. With the experience accumulated at the end of the season and during his recent participation in the World Cup where he represented the United States, Bordeleau is probably just a good retreat away from becoming a key element of the Sharks relaunch.

Hendrix Lapierre – Capitals of Washington

Like Thomas Bordeleau, Hendrix Lapierre got a taste of the National League last season. The Capitals’ 2020 first round pick started his career on the Bettman circuit brilliantly, scoring a goal in his first match. Lapierre played in six early season games with the Capitals before returning to junior level where he scored 51 points in 40 games with Acadie-Bathurst Titan. At the Capitals the bank of hopes does not fill up enormously and with Nicklas Backstrom’s injury, a place in the center could very well be filled at the beginning of the retreat. If he has preseason games like the ones he offered in 2021 when he had five assists in four games, Lapierre could very well find a permanent niche in Washington. The only downside is that the center Quebec player hasn’t played many games in recent years due to Covid-19 and injuries. The Capitals may therefore be tempted to be more cautious by letting him play for a few months in the American League.


Jakob Pelletier – Calgary Flames

Drafted in the first round with Calgary’s 26th overall pick in the 2019 auction, Pelletier impressed many last season with the Stockton Heat. The former color holder of the Moncton Wildcats and Val-d’Or Foreurs finished third in scoring among the American League rookies with 27 goals and 35 assists in 66 games. Pelletier was also named to the circuit’s rookie all-star team. At the Flames, a lot of work awaits General Manager Brad Treveling in the coming weeks. With limited wage room, he must hire limited free agents Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington, to name a few, as well as seek out prominent free agent services like Johnny Gaudreau. He also has to consider that Sean Monahan will start next season on the injury list. Could the Flames also be tempted to redeem Milan Lucic’s contract? After all, it represents a six million dollar impact on the payroll. The scenario would therefore be perfect for the arrival of some young people in Calgary. Although he will have to compete with midfielders Connor Zary and Matthew Phillips, Jakob Pelletier is undoubtedly one of the best prospects for the Flames on the outside. An advantage that could prove decisive when the time of choice for Treveling and his acolytes arrives next October.

Samuel Poulin – Pittsburgh Penguins

Several positions will certainly be occupied in attack with the Penguins next season as Evgeni Malkin, Evan Rodrigues, Rickard Rakell and Brian Boyle will all benefit from complete autonomy. The son of former Habs striker Patrick Poulin could therefore be opened at the big club in October 2022. It must be said that Pittsburgh does not have the best bank of hope on the circuit, they have only been enlisted once in the first round. for the past seven years. And precisely, this selection was Samuel Poulin in 21st place in 2019. Poulin had a very good campaign in 2021-22 with the Wilkes-Barrie / Scranton Penguins in the American League, finishing second in team scoring. A complete player, already in working order and who performs well the details that can make a difference, Poulin has all the credentials to find his place in the line-up of coach Mike Sullivan.

Samuel Asselin – Boston Bruins

Never enlisted, Asselin was offered a contract by the Boston Bruins following his junior internship in 2019. The Repentigny native forward, who won the Memorial Cup with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in 2018, also led the Halifax Mooseheads at the next season’s prestigious tournament final. Scoring 30 points in 68 games last season in Providence in the American League, Asselin could particularly benefit from the absence of Brad Marchand at the start of the 2022-23 season to carve out a place in Boston. The Bruins aren’t full of young talent and Asselin could very well compete with players like Chris Wagner or Trent Frederic for a regular spot on the roster. In fact, his career may be similar to that of Jeffrey Viel, who without being claimed at the amateur auction, laced up skates for 34 games for the San Jose Sharks last season.

Many more Quebecers are likely to knock on the NHL’s door next year. We must not exclude Mavrik Bourque, Xavier Bourgault or Benoit-Olivier Groulx from the equation. But the situation at the level of their respective organizations could make it more difficult for them to carve out a full-time position in the big league next season.


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