For draft prospect Joel Teasdale, work ethic has never been a concern.
When the 5-foot-11 hybrid winger-centre was taken 12th overall in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft, he was selected more for his on-ice intelligence than for his raw skill.
Now in his sophomore season, the speedster is touted as one of the league’s top draft-eligible forwards.
And he’s starting to be rewarded for his impressive work ethic.
“He just plays the right way”, said Joel Bouchard, Teasdale’s head coach and general manager with the Blainsville-Boisbriand Armada. “He just figures it out, that’s his biggest quality. When he’s on the ice, he figures it out.”
Still, Bouchard knows Teasdale can be even better.
“He has to be more hungry around the net, he’s a guy that plays the right way but sometimes those guys don’t produce as much as they could so my job is to be on him to say ‘you got to put it in,’” Bouchard said. “Because he’s getting his chances and I know he’s going to do the right thing but you’ve got to close and you’ve got to get the points like he has in the last few games.”
On Sunday, after a slow start, Teasdale picked up the game-winning third goal and the game-clinching insurance goal to propel his Armada to their 11th win in just 16 games (11-4-0-1).
The first goal came after the 17-year-old first liner went to the front of the net on the power play to pick up a rebound from a Pascal Corbeil shot, receiving it quickly on his backhand before tucking it along the ice around Gatineau Olympiques goaltender Mark Grametbauer.
Minutes later, after Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov responded to cut the Blainville-Boisbriand lead to 3-2, Teasdale jumped into the high slot to cleanly put a loose puck past Grametbauer for his fourth shot and second goal of the game.
Bouchard isn’t surprised by the surge in offense .
He knew the production would come after Teasdale posted a solid 27 points in 53 games as a rookie last season and began this season as one of the QMJHL’s leading shot producers (36 shots on goal in 16 games).
“I think he’s a really smart, dependable player,” Bouchard said. “I don’t think he had the best start to the year for the calibre of player he can be but he’s picking it up the last few weeks — their draft year is always stressful a little bit in the beginning so they need a little love and a little talk and a little reassuring but he’s a good coach’s player.”
Teasdale knows he can be dominant.
“It’s a big year but I’m not putting pressure on my shoulders because that will make me make mistakes,” said Teasdale, 82nd in Future Considerations’ Fall ranking for the 2017 draft. “My IQ and vision, I see a lot of things on the ice and I take confidence because I have played a lot of games now and I’m not the best I can be but I’m going to be dominant.”
“I know he’s going to play well on the PK, well on the PP but he’s got to be dominant offensively with his skill and he has been doing just that,” Bouchard added.
Internationally at the under-17 level, Teasdale has already dominated among his top peers, including a point-per-game performance while wearing the ‘A’ for Canada Red at U17 Worlds.
Now playing on the Armada’s top unit in all situations, alongside Alexandre Alain and Alexander Katerinakis at even strength, Teasdale is showing he can be a force at the QMJHL level too.