Prospect Ramblings: QMJHL Draft Eligible Fantasy Gems

by Josh Tessler on April 19, 2020

Image courtesy of NHL.com

 

 

This season, there were a quite a few draft eligible prospects in the QMJHL that put on a clinic and could be useful fantasy assets down the stretch. So, if you are already trying to bone up on which fantasy hockey prospects that you should have on your radar for your 2020-2021 Fantasy Hockey Draft, you came to the right place.

 

In the table below, you can find several 2020 draft eligible prospects and their points per game from the 2019-2020 season. In addition, there are asterisks which signify different meanings. If a prospect has one asterisk next to his name that means that the prospect had played their rookie season in 2019-2020. On the other hand, if a prospect has two asterisks next to his name that means that the prospect is an over-ager. For those uncommon with the term over-ager, an over-ager is a prospect who was eligible for the NHL Draft in years past but was not selected and is eligible again for the upcoming draft.

 

Prospect

Organization

Position

Points Per Game

Alexis Lafrenière

Rimouski

LW

2.15

Adam Raska*

Rimouski

LW

0.6

Mavrik Bourque

Shawinigan

C

1.45

Dawson Mercer

Chicoutimi

RW

1.43

Hendrix Lapierre

Chicoutimi

C

0.89

Lukas Cormier

Charlottetown

LHD

0.82

Jérémie Poirier

Saint John

LHD

0.83

William Villeneuve

Saint John

RHD

0.91

Jacob Dion*

Drummondville

LHD

0.81

Justin Barron

Halifax

RHD

0.56

Cole Cormier*

Quebec

LW

0.64

Theo Rochette

Quebec

C

0.80

Thimo Nickl*

Drummondville

RHD

0.67

Ryan Francis

Cape Breton

RW

1.18

Josh Lawrence

Saint John

C

0.66

Vasiliy Ponomaryov*

Shawinigan

C

0.87

Seena Peeters*

Halifax

C

0.58

Elliot Desnoyers

Moncton

LW

0.57

Egor Sokolov**

Cape Breton

RW

1.77

William Dufour

Drummondville

RW

0.93

Xavier Simoneau**

Drummondville

C

1.46

Christopher Merisier-Ortiz**

Baie-Comeau

LHD

0.70

Marc-Antoine Pépin**

Shawinigan

LHD

0.6

 

As you can expect, Alexis Lafrenière, Mavrik Bourque and Dawson Mercer had the highest point per game seasons. Lafrenière, Bourque and Mercer will more than likely be selected in the first round at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. In addition, Lafrenière is in the driver’s seat to be selected number one overall. With that being said, if you have the opportunity to take either Lafrenière, Bourque and/or Mercer in your fantasy draft, you should certainly select them.

 

Once you get past the trio, you will start to notice a few more intriguing names. Vasiliy Ponomaryov is coming off of his first season in North America. Ponomaryov was playing for MHK Krylia Sovetov Moskva (MHL club based in Moscow, Russia). He was the ninth overall selection in the 2019 CHL Import Draft and after being drafted by the Shawinigan Cataractes, he decided to take his talents to the QMJHL. Shawinigan had a tough road to climb all season long, but Ponomaryov was one of their leaders in offensive production. With his silky hands and his large stride, he continues to play hard to the net and will stick-handle away from traffic during his pursuit. 

 

Aside from Ponomaryov, Hendrix Lapierre of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens has a lot of promise. His performance at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup was spectacular. Lapierre recorded 11 points in five games played. After the Hlinka Gretzky, he was producing at a consistent rate in Chicoutimi, but injuries began to appear which severely limited his ice-time. Lapierre was only able to play in 19 games this past season as he was dealing with concussion and neck injuries. While concerns around his injuries might lower his draft stock, his play-making is top-notch and could be a fantasy asset for years to come.

 

After Ponomaryov and Lapierre, there are a few more forward prospects that you should consider selecting and those include Egor Sokolov, William Dufour, Ryan Francis and Xavier Simoneau. The four prospects are coming off of great campaigns. Francis surprised many analysts from the get-go. The spotlight was not on Francis to begin the season, but he made the spotlight come to him. With his strong transitional game, Francis has shown that he can be highly efficient as a playmaker. On the other hand, Dufour spent the first half of the season with Chicoutimi and then was dealt to Drummondville in the Dawson Mercer trade. While you might expect a prospect to get adjusted to a new setting and a new club, it did not take Dufour long to light up the lamp in Drummondville. In fact, he averaged 1.17 points per game with Drummondville, which is surprising given that Drummondville’s talent level does not match Chicoutimi, but he pulled it off. 

 

While Sokolov and Simoneau have stepped up to the plate in their over-ager season, that does not mean that you should write them off. We have seen plenty of over-agers become solid fantasy contributors over the last couple of years including Mike Hoffman (Florida Panthers), Danton Heinen (Anaheim Ducks) and Dominik Simon (Pittsburgh Penguins). It sometimes takes prospects a little bit more time to develop and get NHL ready. 

 

Aside from the prospects who posted higher points per game totals this season, Seena Peeters and Cole Cormier should get some recognition as well. Peeters, who just finished his rookie season in the QMJHL was playing with a Halifax club that had a tough time putting points on the board, but Peeters was a consistent contributor throughout the course of the season. He is a strong power forward, who has a great shot in his tool-belt and loves to pounce the net. With Cormier, he has shown that he can be a serviceable top nine forward in the NHL. Cormier reads situations well, makes adjustments on the fly and can be an asset on special teams. Given the right forward group in the NHL, you can feel strongly about Cormier succeeding and being a good fantasy contributor.

 

In the defensive zone, there are a few names to keep your eyes on. Jérémie Poirier, Lukas Cormier, Justin Barron, William Villeneuve and Jacob Dion are four defensemen who can be fantasy contributors down the road. Poirier’s transitional play is elite. He will zig-zag around traffic, skate up the half-wall and burn you at the crease. With Cormier, his talent truly shines on the power-play. He is a strong power-play quarterback in the making. Cormier executes crisp passes and always seems to find the ideal forward to light up the lamp. Justin Barron is coming off a rocky season in which he a blood clot, but there is no doubt that he will be a solid fantasy contributor in the NHL. 

 

Villeneuve and Dion are dark horses, but that does not mean that you should ignore them. Out of all of the defensemen that are listed above in the chart, Villeneuve owns the highest points per game out of all of them. Villeneuve is a robust puck-mover with great edges and solid hands. He is truly mobile and will make smart decisions with the puck on the fly. Last up on is Dion. Many analysts have written off Dion. He is one of the shortest defensive eligible prospects in the class and was a rookie this season in the QMJHL. Yet, there is quite a bit of talent in Dion’s game. Throughout the season in Drummondville, Dion has proved to scouts from coast-to-coast that he can be a force in the offensive zone. The Stoke, Quebec native loves to pinch and work the cycle. Additionally, he will attempt to split the defense. So, keep him penciled in as a possible fantasy option.

 

There are many solid fantasy assets in the making, especially in the QMJHL. While we are months from your next fantasy hockey draft, you should keep these prospects in mind when you are sitting in the draft lobby and destroying some pizza.

 

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Thank you for checking out this post. If you would like to follow Josh Tessler on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_