2017 NHL Draft

Prospect Notes: B-B Armada vs Rimouski Oceanic

Promise on display for Armada in 6-0 rout of Oceanic
Steve Kournianos  |  3/8/2017 |  New York  |  

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Photo courtesy of the QMJHL

2017 Draft Prospects

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

LW Joel Teasdale (3/11/99, 5’11/190): Teasdale is a top-line left wing who plays an in-your-face game. His size is far from imposing, but he shows tremendous upper-body strength that wins puck battles, while his leg drive helps him power through opponents as he skates down the wing with speed. Teasdale likes to control the puck and takes direct routes to the net. His feet are constantly moving and there isn’t a loose puck he won’t get dirty for. He skates with a short stride and looks choppy, and while his overall speed is somewhat average, Teasdale moves with a purpose and displays excellent balance. He’ll take a beating in the low slot and uses a wide tripod to maintain a foothold while screening the goalie. His puck skills are above average, and he is more of a shooter than a passer.

LHD Antoine Crete-Belzile (8/19/99, 6’0 /188): Crete-Belzile has the potential to be a very good top-four support defender, and we’d like to think the warts he’s showing in relation to puck management have more to do with his age than anything else — he won’t turn 18 for another six months. There are times he looks outstanding — confident, decisive and crisp. Every four or five solid shifts, however, are generally followed by foul up. Crete-Belzile is a smart player from his blueline inward, as he uses quick reflexes and a solid understanding of play development to intercept passes and transition up ice. He wins his 50/50 battles more for his routes, anticipation, body positioning and active stick rather than relying on speed alone. With the puck on his stick, Crete-Belzile can look impressive, but crossing center ice turns into an adventure. He’s far more reliable when he stays within himself, covers the slot like a blanket and disrupts play around the net. Agile and poised in his own end, Crete-Belzile is inconsistent with his gap control but does have a quick first step and good closing speed. He moonlights as a second-unit option on the power play, but don’t expect much in terms of offense, creativity and point production.

LW/C Anthony Poulin (8/26/99, 5’9/185): Sneaky, crafty offensive player with very quick hands and excellent vision. Poulin made several high-end plays in traffic to find open linemates rather than take shots through clogged lanes. He’s a bit of a waterbug — undersized but feisty and relentless. Poulin displayed a hard, accurate shot with a quick release. He plays in a support role and didn’t get many offensive zone starts but looks like a selfless pass-first playmaker capable of producing with an expanded role.

RW Shaun Miller (6/4/99, 5’11/170): Miller is a 200-foot player who skates well and is difficult to knock off the puck. He has escapability and will weave in and around traffic while maintaining control of the puck. Plays and looks a lot bigger than his listed measurements, as he used his upper-body strength and balance to fend off defenders. His straight-line speed is good, but Miller will gain the zone more from patience and lateral movement than simply blowing past people. Miller can stop on a dime and his footwork helps him gain the extra second or two necessary to find an open option.

Rimouski Oceanic

RW Denis Mikhnin (7/11/99, 5’10/166): Mikhnin is a three-zone skilled forward capable of shouldering top line responsibilities. He is a quick skater with excellent side-to-side maneuverability who can not only skate well, but also create a variety of plays off the rush, such as feathering accurate passes or incorporating trailers and backdoor-cutters. Mikhnin stickhandles with his head up and will walk the line long enough to draw opponents away from quality scoring areas. He is a sturdy player who displays strength and a willingness to battle for pucks in any corner of the ice. An undervalued aspect of his game is that he is responsible in his own zone and drops down into the slot to cover up for roaming teammates. Moreover, his hand-eye coordination and soft hands allow him to settle down or wire bouncing pucks. Always involved and looking to strike, Mikhnin is an opportunist who makes you pay for snoozing.

C Carson MacKinnon (8/21/99, 6’0/154): MacKinnon is a versatile two-way center who can also play the wing. He is a confident, low-maintenance playmaker with very good vision who understands the importance of timing — MacKinnon uses accurate touch or slap passes off the rush, making it difficult to telegraph his intentions. He’s a wiry kid but will play physical and get involved in puck battles, both serving him well on Rimouski’s first penalty killing unit. Playing with poise and eluding pressure are two things he does extremely well, and he can be counted on to move the puck out of his own end and into safety.