MONTREAL – Luneau, Lamoureux, Warren. Or Lamoureux, Warren, Luneau. Or even Warren, Luneau, Lamoureux. It’s rare to see three great and talented QMJHL defenders making the NHL scouts mouth water. As the draft approaches, some argue that Noah Warren could cloud the waters.
For a long time Luneau was seen as the jewel of this group, but the hope of Gatineau Olympiques was operated last summer, which mortgaged much of the season’s draft.
This context forced the scouts to think about the hierarchy to favor in the draft and we interviewed four of them to try to decide between these three friends.
“Here, it’s Warren that’s blurring the cards right now. For the athletic component, it’s super interesting. But it is certain that Luneau is only ahead of the other two in his sense of hockey and his understanding of the game, ”said a recruiter for a Western team.
Luneau, five feet tall, also earned points by exposing a more complete arsenal.
“Tristan went to great lengths to show that he wasn’t just a kid playing offensive plays and it’s his credit. After all, there is only one defender per NHL team who controls the power play. If you are not that player, can you do something else? In my opinion this year he was able to prove it, “added one of his colleagues.
However, the downside of his injury quickly comes to the surface.
“His skating hasn’t improved much since last year. Like all other recruiters, we take risks. So I think the team will find out that his skate is not a problem and will end up taking it first. He will have to add power and explosiveness to his game, but he is very intelligent, “said a source from an eastern club.
“For me Luneau is ahead of the other two by a small advantage. The guys with the best sense of hockey develop the best, “she added.
But it shouldn’t be forgotten that many teams enjoy watching athletes with frames such as Lamoureux (six-foot-seven) and Warren (six-foot-six).
“It’s close enough. But, personally, I have Warren ahead of the others. I really like his progress this year. I’ve had a lot of trouble with him making him but I think he’s progressed very well, ”said the fourth recruiter.
As for Lamoureux, he was very successful during physical tests and interviews in Buffalo.
“You don’t need an NHL scout to tell you he can skate and move well. But, from the outside, I would have liked to have seen a tougher player all season, “assessed one of our sources.
The horizon for Lamoureux is longer term. His weight could add 30 pounds in a few years, so he’s less stout than Warren right now.
Plus, Warren has made the most of this rise this season. But perhaps we should rather say that he could finally make it.
“I think it happened naturally, I told myself I had to start playing more physical. There is also the fact that, in Midget AAA, I had to hold back a bit otherwise … All the boys were smaller, “described the Montreal region defender.
“He seems to like it and I think it will be boring to play against him. He’s really huge, he’s starting to understand how this can work, ”observed one recruiter.
The funniest part of the job
Louis Robitaille, Warren’s coach with Olympiques, is delighted with the progress of this great project.
“It’s fun to hear that because last year with Noah we really supported quality rather than quantity. […] We wanted to remove from the side flashy to be much more efficient, “explained Robitaille.
“Before fishing it, like in the movie Draft day and the scene with Vontae Mack, I called him to be sure what he wanted to bring to our team. He told me that he wanted to be a difficult defender to face, extremely mobile and capable of generating attack with his simplicity. He had to recognize it, ”said Robitaille, that he would be good at playing some of Kevin Costner’s scenes.
The next step was to hone his game’s great weapons.
“When you get six-foot six-foot AAA bantams or midgets and skates like the wind, it’s easier to generate attack. So yeah, you want to play the power game, but we didn’t deviate from the plan from what it would become. This year he has averaged more than 20 minutes per game, ”said Robitaille.
For all these reasons, Robitaille is not so surprised by the growing interest of the scouts.
“Compared to Tristan, expectations for Noah were lower, so recruiters are more likely to find him handsome and good. Everything is fine and seeing the progress of the young people is the most enjoyable part of our job, “he noted.
“But, to me, Noah isn’t competing with the other two. Each team that chooses one of these three defenders will have an athlete with different strengths, but an extraordinary person, ”concluded Robitaille.