Hendrix Lapierre didn’t play much due to injury this year but is highly toughed amongst scouts, and the Montreal Canadiens may get a star if they select him.
Every draft has a star that was selected a lot later than their future NHL performance suggests. Sometimes scouts just honestly miss something while other times, it’s a case of the player peaking at a later age. In most cases, it’s injuries that prevent them from playing a lot in their draft year, decreasing the sample size teams have to judge their play. However, the teams who select them anyway benefit from it down the road, and the Montreal Canadiens are in a good position to do this with Hendrix Lapierre.
The NHL draft year is the most important season for most players hoping to make the jump to the big league. Of course, there are instances where a player is drafted as an overager or signed as a free agent later on, but that year ahead of the event is usually the biggest. That makes getting injured in that time frame an even tougher pill to swallow.
Lapierre was walking into his second season in the QMJHL with the Chicoutimi Saguenèens. His first year saw him put up 13 goals and 32 assists for 45 points in 48 games as well as 5 points in 4 playoff games.
The first thing that sticks out about Lapierre is his skill set. He perfectly combines his skating with the ability to move the puck and get by the opposition through the neutral zone to start possession plays. Both offensively and defensively, Lapierre knows where to be to disrupt plays or set up linemates for opportunities, and he’s not afraid to fight for his space, whether it’s in front of the net or in the corner for a puck.