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Fantasy Summary

Two-way defender with strong offensive instincts who has worked to round out his game since being drafted. His ceiling will be determined by how he adjusts to the pace of professional hockey.


Observations

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May 2022 – After a slow start, Villeneuve had an impressive 2021-22 season and was a key part of a strong Saint John Sea Dogs team in the QMJHL. He saw a resurgence in his point production, nearly equaling his numbers from his draft year when he led all QMJHL defenders in scoring and while that may not sound like an upward trajectory, his overall game has taken steps forward. While it isn’t a perfect stat by any means, that progress is illustrated in part by his +60 rating this past season compared to just +7 a year ago and a -5 mark in his draft year. He has done a better job of picking his spots in terms of pushing for offense and he has become more composed as a defender while improving his overall mobility during the last two seasons. Now 20 years of age and already under contract with the Leafs, Villeneuve will be looking to continue that progress when he joins the Marlies for the 2022-23 season. Nick Richard

December 2021 – Villeneuve got off to a slow start offensively but has picked up the pace significantly in recent weeks. After picking up just four assists in his first 11 games, he has added three goals and 14 assists in the 13 games since. He was the highest-scoring defenceman in the QMJHL during his draft year but has focused on improving his defensive game in the last couple of seasons. It seems Villeneuve may be finding that balance between playing a solid defensive game while still finding a way to let his offensive skills shine through. Nick Richard

September 2021 – The Leafs have signed Villeneuve to a three-year, entry level contract. He had a strong showing at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament and will gain some valuable experience at NHL training camp before presumably heading back to Saint John for another season in the QMJHL. Expect Villeneuve to see time with the Marlies once his junior season wraps up and join the team full-time in 2022-23. Nick Richard

May 2021 – Villeneuve proved in 2019 that he could rack up points when called upon. In 2020 his priority shifted to focusing on simple plays to move pucks through the defensive and neutral zones with more of a team effort, and strides were certainly made in this direction. His points total did dip down to 20 points in 33 games, but his decision-making is becoming much more pro-ready. With his QMJHL season concluded, he is joining the AHL Marlies on a tryout deal. This would have to go extremely well for the 19-year-old to not return to the Q in 2021-22; he still has work to do on his skating and he is better served playing big minutes in junior rather than rotating in and out of a crowded AHL back end. Hayden Soboleski

October 2020 – The Maple Leafs have selected Villeneuve in the 4th round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, slightly lower than anticipated on many pre-draft rankings. After being a 2nd-overall pick in the QMJHL draft, Villenueve has become a strong two-way player for the Sea Dogs (currently wearing an “A”) and was nominated for QMJHL D-men of the Year for the 2019-20 campaign. His hockey IQ and puck moving skills are highly praised along with his calmness under pressure, however it is universally accepted that his skating stride needs significant improvement if he’s going to succeed in pro hockey. If he can improve this technical skill, he projects as a 2nd-pairing defender capable of putting up point totals; definitely a tab for your fantasy radar but don’t draft just yet. Despite good size at 6’1″, he is several years from NHL consideration. Hayden Soboleski

September 2019 – Villeneuve is a decent two-way defenseman. He will make quality shots from the perimeter and completes smart and efficient passes in the offensive zone. Fans should not expect Villeneuve to be one of the more dominant point-getters in the QMJHL as he is far from a true offensive defenseman. Yet, he is efficient in all three zones and has shown to be a dependable puck mover. In terms of his skating, his edgework is exceptional and he transitions well from forward to backward. From a fantasy perspective, he more than likely will be a serviceable top four defenseman in the NHL. He is capable of posting a 40-50 point season if completely healthy. Josh Tessler

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 6.5
Country CAN
Position D
Roster Type System
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth March 20, 2002
Height 6‘2”
Weight 181 lbs
Drafted 2020 Round 4; Overall: 122

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2013-2014 Sherbrooke Jr. Phoenix QC Int PW3 0 11 4|        
 2014-2015 Sherbrooke Jr. Phoenix QC Int PW4 0 11 0|        
 2015-2016 Triolet Harfangs M15 AAA RQM15AA27 4 1115 10|Qualification3 0 22
  Triolet Harfangs M15 AAAQM15AAA12 0 11 6|Qualification1 0 00
 2016-2017 Triolet Harfangs M15 AAAQM15AAA25 5 2732 10|Qualification3 0 22
  Triolet Harfangs M17 EspoirQM17E9 0 22 4|        
 2017-2018 Magog CantonniersQM18AAA40 9 2534 12|