June 23rd & 24th 2017 will be two special dates for some young hockey players aged between 17 and 18 years old from all around the world.
Antoine Morand of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan will almost certainly be one of those young hockey players.
Although that he’s in the most important season of his young career, Morand has stayed focused on his actual team.
Instead he’s using individual showcases, like his appearance in the CIBC Canada-Russia Series and CHL Top Prospects Game, to take full advantage of the scouting showcases available to a player eligible for the draft.
And learn along the way.
“It was really fun to be part of the CIBC series,” said Morand, 37th in Future Considerations’ Winter ranking for the 2017 draft. “It was a great experience to play with such skilled players. I learnt a lot while playing with older players.”
Morand isn’t focused on rankings, though. The best advice he’s received was to not think about the draft, to stay focus on his team, and to not get worried with it.
He’s done that.
“I am not really a stats guy; I don’t look to them much,” Morand said. “I think about my team and to do what I have to do.”
His stats, however, are impressive. Morand is known as an excellent offensive player, and his 17 goals and 48 points points in 47 games so far this season can attest.
But looking closer reveals a hard-working two-way player and that he doesn’t throw words out in air when he says that he wants to help his team win games.
Morand feels that his biggest strength is his mobility and his vision and describes himself as a good playmaker, but that’s not the focus of his attention.
“I would like to improve my 1-on-1 battles and my defensive zone play,” Morand said.
“I don’t compare myself much but I use Jonathan Toews as a model. He is a complete player and he his good on both side of the ice.”
Morand is one of the top prospects coming out of the QMJHL for the 2017 draft.
He possesses excellent hockey sense and he takes quick decision when he has the puck. His skating is truly a strength of his and not only for his mobility. His speed and acceleration are both over the average.
He will have a lot of opportunities to show his skills as a hockey player before the draft.
Morand was invited to the CHL Top Prospects Game on January 30th, and could also represent Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship if his QMJHL season has come to a close.
A busy summer awaits him as he will participate in the NHL Scouting Combine in late May or early June.
The focus after will be to train all summer at home in Chateauguay, and be ready to return next season to once again help his Acadie-Bathurst team.
Article by Guillaume Gervais