Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours gathering information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. Future Considerations Quebec-based scout Andy Lehoux is no different.
Here is Lehoux’s notebook for February.
Samuel Poulin, LW, Sherbrooke, 6-2’, 206, 2-25-2001
Poulin as been nothing short of incredible recently. After a tough lost in the opening playoff game, he has elevated his play and has been by far the best player on the ice every shift since. Poulin has a very complete game. He owns a very fluid and powerful stride that give him a decent top speed. His very polished stride allows him to move around the ice effortlessly. He is very poised with the puck, and he utilizes his teammates well. Nowadays, Poulin is showcasing way more creativity and he tries a lot more dangles and skilled plays. He displayed some surprisingly slick hands in my last few viewings. Nothing exceptional, but he was able to create space for himself and dangle goalies in partial breakaways very effectively. He owns a great strength, some strong edges and a good balance. He protects his puck very well and he’s an absolute force in board battles. He loves to get into physical battles high in the offensive zone, and he makes quick, effective passes in front of the net after recovering the puck. He also loves to crash to the net for rebounds and he’s almost impossible to stop in the crease. He is a fierce competitor and he’s very intense in all three zones. He always backchecks and puts a lot of effort in his own zone. He helps his defenseman down low and sacrifices himself by blocking shots from the point. Poulin has always been recognized for his amazing work ethic on and off the ice. At 18, he’s already an excellent leader and team player.
Samuel Bolduc, D, Blainville-Boisbriand, 6-5, 210, 12-9-2001
After a tough start of the season, Bolduc has really started to put his game together in the past few months. He is a smooth, effortless skater with a great poise with the puck, but is now playing with the confidence to match. He plays a very physical style of game. He owns an incredible strength, which allows him to outmatch anyone physically. He wins board battles and protects his crease with ease. He blocks the slot very effectively and defends rushes, with his big frame and long reach. Any speedy forwards trying to pass him on the outside are simply welcomed with a big hit. He also owns a good backward speed that helps him keep up with any attackers. The left-handed defenseman can restart the attack quickly thanks to his great stretch pass. His outlet passes are also very powerful and accurate. While there are still some improvements to be made, there’s something to like in his puck-moving abilities more and more after each viewing. He has improved his puck control and east-west agility, which now allow him to create many controlled zone exits and entries. He sees the play developing well and jumps in the offense when there is an opportunity. He distributes the puck super well in the offensive zone with convincing passes. He has a great decision-making offensively and it’s very tough to predict his upcoming play as he always looks directly at the net.
Samuel Desgroseilliers, D, Blainville-Boisbriand, 5-9, 165, 1-12-2001
Desgroseilliers might not have been talked about a lot this season, but his play could earn him a draft selection. He is a skilled puck-moving blueliner. He’s a great skater, showcasing every shift an excellent speed, edge work and agility. He moves the puck up the ice with ease and he creates many control zone entries. He has some decent mitts that allows him to stick-handle through traffic, but nothing mind-blowing. His tremendous edge work helps him adapt to plays quickly and gain speed while protecting his puck, which comes handy along the board in the offensive zone. He might be a skilled undersized defenseman, but it’s his play in his own end that has impressed. He stops multiple rushes with his active stick, great backward skating agility and good gap control. His pivots are excellent and he blocks speedy attackers from cutting to the crease effectively. He can catch speedy forwards in partial breakaways and completely neutralized them with a surprising strength. He’s always first on dumped pucks, and he wins most of his battles against forecheckers. He’s not afraid to battle it out with bigger and tougher opponents and can even throw some hits from time to time. His great play defensively has help him get more and more defensive responsibilities, playing on the PK and in important defensive end-game situations. His progression for the last 2 years has been incredible.