Nicolas Meloche

Colorado Avalanche
image courtesy of MileHighHockey

Fantasy Summary

Beastly physical d-man with untapped offensive potential


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 5.5
Country CAN
Position D
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth July 18, 1997
Height 6‘3”
Weight 205 lbs
Drafted 2015 Round 2; Overall: 40

Observations

February 2019 – Meloche has stuck in the AHL lineup this season and has already nearly matched his rookie point total as a result. The 21-year-old is second among team defence in scoring and still brings fantasy-relevant SOG, PIMs, and physical peripherals. Keep being patient fantasy owners, because he will be worth it if he can take another step forward. Hayden Soboleski

 

September 2018 – After a strong rookie camp, Meloche will start the season in the AHL as expected. He looks confident and edgy and deserves top-4 defensive duties with the Eagles, with some powerplay time potentially with his big shot. It’s been a wait, and it might still be, but he still projects as a worthwhile fantasy d-man who brings decent points and hits. Hayden Soboleski

 

May 2018 – Thank goodness. Meloche was actually given a bit of an AHL leash as the year concluded, and he showed why he was worth it. 17 points is better than it sounds given his sporadic usage, and many of those tallies came in the second half as he became much more comfortable. The potential is definitely still there, and a bigger AHL role in 2018-19 will be just what the doctor ordered to keep the development coming. Hayden Soboleski

December 2017 – The Rampage have not provided Meloche with an opportunity to establish himself in the pro leagues despite his impressive Avs training camp and notable QMJHL career. Instead, he has only gotten into 17 games so far, and has now been assigned to the ECHL. Playing big minutes in a lesser league is better than the press box in the AHL, but this is very questionnable behavior by Colorado and San Antonio. Colorado has a terrible history of developing blueliners to their potential lately (see Geertsen, Seimens, Boikov), so hopefully this does not hurt the enormous potential this full-package defender has. Hayden Soboleski September 2017 – After a very impressive rookie tournament and preseason, the first-year-pro Meloche has been assigned to the AHL. This isn’t a knock on his strong play, its just best to give the all-around d-man a chance to adjust to the pro level with a little less pressure. Expect at least a call-up or two some time this season, and if he plays well there’s a good chance of him sticking in the NHL full-time on Colorado’s roster dearly needing defence. This might be your last time to pick up this QMJHL gem who doesn’t stop improving and impressing. Hayden Soboleski March 2017 – Colorado has committed to Meloche, signing him to an entry-level contract. The stud defenceman has had another very strong year in the QMJHL, where he is racking up points and hits on one of the league’s best clubs. He will turn pro and see big AHL minutes next season (as one of the organizations few right-handed blueliners), and given how strong he played in training camp last year, him being in line for NHL cups of coffee is a strong possibility if his transition to pro is smooth. Hayden Soboleski October 2016 – Meloche has been assigned to the QMJHL for another season, after proving to be one of the best Avalanche defensemen in training camp. Unlike many jack-of-all-trades players, Meloche is truly strong in almost all regards, giving him stud potential. His only pro experience at this point is training camps and rookie tournaments, which aren’t the best indicator, but he looked outstanding in his defensive positioning, hockey IQ, and offensive instincts when applicable. He will become a truly exciting prospect if he is able to carry this play into the AHL, but this is still a year away at least. Hayden Soboleski June 2016 – After being traded at the dealine from a poor team to a good one, Meloche failed to capitalize offensively. His points output remained about the same on the better squad, but his status as a top defender was cemented throughout the season and playoffs. The jack-of-all-trades defenceman has come into his own, learning how to use his fantastic size and edge for the power of good – shutting down opponents while avoiding the “stay-at-home” label. One more year in the QMJHL will give us time to see how good Meloche can get, as his role on the ice should be as big as he is willing to take on. Whether he wants to become an offensive or defensive leader (or both) will help determine his fantasy value down the road. Hayden Soboleski December 2015 – Last-place Baie-Comeau has traded Meloche to the much more successful Gatineau Olympiques. This will surely help Meloche’s lousy plus-minus numbers, but it will be interesting to see how his scoring pace (16 points in 25 games) holds up as the go-to offensive defenceman in a more talented group. Hayden Soboleski October 2015 – Meloche has made the QMJHL roster for the upcoming CHL Canada Russia Series. His multi-category hot start (five points, 29 PIM, 42 SOG in ten games) makes him one to watch when the best of his league take on the best Russia has to offer. Hayden Soboleski October 2015 – Meloche has been assigned to the QMJHL to play another season with Baie-Comeau. He is off to a hot start, with three goals in four games, and his very high shot total (averaging over four per game) indicate that he is giving himself more opportunities than in previous years. Hayden Soboleski June 2015 – Avs take Meloche 40th overall. Has the overall talent to perhaps make the jump within three years, but not the offensive upside to warrant taking in most leagues this year. Dobber June 2015 –Meloche won’t burn you with offensive talent and is not considered a top-pairing defenseman, however, he possesses valuable intangibles that will make him a middle-pairing, shutdown defender. He has a howitzer of a shot behind his 6-3, 205-pound frame and can punish opponents with his physical edge. His awareness on the ice is above-average and he rarely makes poor decisions in his own zone. He recorded double-digit goals (10) for the first time with Baie-Comeau of the QMJHL in 2014-15 and with continued improvement and seasoning, the hulking blueliner could become a valuable, two-way commodity. Zach Hopkins


Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2011-2012 Trois-Lacs Eagles Bantam AA LSLBAA 28 4 2 6 10 |          
  École De L'Odyssée M17 Maj LHPS M17 Majeur 26 4 3 7 0 | Playoffs 5 1 3 4
 2012-2013 Saint-Eustache Vikings QMAAA 38 9 17 26 58 | Playoffs 1 0 1 1
  Team Québec White QGC-16 5 1 3 4 10 |          
 2013-2014 Baie-Comeau Drakkar QMJHL 54 6 19 25 47 | Playoffs 22 0 8 8
  Canada Québec U17 WHC-17 6 1 1 2 4 |          
 2014-2015 Team Red U18-Dev 3 0 0 0 4 |          
  Baie-Comeau Drakkar QMJHL 44 10 24 34 99 | Playoffs 12 4 6 10 22 
  QMJHL All-Stars Jr Super Series 2 1 0 1 8 |          
  Canada U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup 5 0 1 1 6 |          
 2015-2016 Baie-Comeau Drakkar QMJHL 25 8 8 16 54 |          
  Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 28 5 12 17 38 | Playoffs 9 1 2 3 10 
  QMJHL All-Stars Jr Super Series 2 1 0 1 4 |          
 2016-2017 Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 26 7 14 21 38 |          
  Charlottetown Islanders QMJHL 35 9 17 26 35 | Playoffs 13 3 4 7 30 
  QMJHL All-Stars Jr Super Series - - - - - |          
 2017-2018 San Antonio Rampage AHL 58 5 12 17 59 |          
  Colorado Eagles ECHL 5 1 0 1 0 | Playoffs 24 1 5 6 41 
 2018-2019 Colorado Eagles AHL 55 6 15 21 53 | Playoffs 3 0 2 2

Highlights