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 from November.
Xavier Simoneau, C, Drummondville (QMJHL), 5-7, 170, DOB 5-19-2001
Simoneau is a dynamic and skilled playmaker. He’s always buzzing offensively and creates something every time he touches the puck. His vision is among the best among eligibles in the QMJHL, as is his incredible passing ability. He creates plays seamlessly and distributes the puck around with so much ease. He boasts blasting speed, an impressive quickness and a great agility that allows him to move around the ice at his will. He also has some quick hands, which he uses to avoid pokecheck or create space for himself rather than pulling out a flashy dangle. He also possesses a quick release and precise wrist shot. With his 5-foot-7 frame, there are a lot of concerns about his transition to the pro level. As most undersized forwards, Simoneau does not have the best upper-body strength, but surprisingly enough, he can get himself around in board battles with his high intensity and compete level. There is still a lot of work left. He’s average defensively as his efforts are inconsistent and he’s maybe too focused on the offensive side of the game. He’s a risky pick, as he will certainly have to work on his weaknesses before getting into the big league. We’ll have to wait to see if he keeps this level of play throughout the season, but one thing is for sure, the talent he showcased recently is worthy of consideration.
Yegor Serdyuk, RW, Victoriaville (QMJHL), 5-11, 165, DOB 6-3-2001
Serdyuk plays a skilled and flashy offensive game. With his filthy mitts and great agility, he dances around defensemen in the offensive zone as he looks to create scoring chances. He possesses a great vision and passing abilities that allows him to open the play well and create many zone breakouts and entries. His precise wrist shot and quick release are quite impressive too. He is versatile offensively and can create scoring chances for his linemates, or lead the offense by himself. Defensively, Serdyuk reads the play well and can re-start the attack with ease, but there is room for improvement in his involvement. He’s arguably the biggest riser out of the QMJHL this month, as he already looks a step ahead from his play at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Yaroslav Likhachyov, RW, Gatineau (QMJHL), 5-11, 170, DOB 9-2-2001
Likhachyov is a flashy and skilled offensive forward. The Russian winger is not a dynamic player, but he is most certainly an exciting one. With his incredible hands, he can dangle anybody and it’s just so seamless. He is easily one of, if not the most skill 2019 eligible prospect of the QMJHL. He has a great vision and creates a lot of scoring chances for his teammates by attracting the opponent with quick dangles to then feed his linemates in the slot. His wrist shot is above average, but he uses it with so unpredictability that he sometimes surprises goalies. He has an above average speed, but some great edges and quick turns. The knock on him, though, is his very poor strength. He sometimes gets blocked on his stickhandling moves simply because of his poor upper body strength and he will rarely get involved along the boards. He often cheats on zone exits and he is not very involved in the defensive play, either. Likhachyov has a very high ceiling, but he will need to improve his strength and involvement defensively.