November Notebook – Tessler

Special To FC2020 Draft Center, From The Notebook, QMJHL

Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours gathering information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. Future Considerations scout Josh Tessler is no different.

Here is Tessler’s notebook for November.

Alexis Lafrenière, LW, 6-1, 192, 10-11-2001
Charlottetown 3 @ Rimouski 6 – November 26, 2019
Lafrenière was a human highlight reel against Charlottetown. He was able to take advantage of the weak Islanders team and shined. Lafrenière came out hungry in the first period. Bolduc and Lafrenière teamed up and exchanged passes right in front of the Charlottetown net. Once Lafrenière found a gap, he capitalized and scored. Later on in the game, Lafrenière grabbed an assist on a Durocher goal. He had an interception at the blue line in his defensive zone and rushed towards the Charlottetown net. Lafrenière had noticed that Charlottetown traffic caught up to him, but left a sizable hole. Durocher found the hole and made himself open. Lafrenière delivered a quality pass in the hole to Durocher, which paved the way for a Rimouski goal. In the third period, Lafrenière was back on the scor sheet once again. Aside from the points, he put on quite an impressive show. His turns were tight and he managed to create plenty of open space in the slot. In addition, Lafrenière’s speed was on full display. In the neutral zone, he stickhandled around his opponents and managed to skate around traffic without any hiccup. In the offensive zone, his passes in the slot and from the half wall were crisp and accurate. When Lafrenière was in his own zone, he made strong defensive plays. Throughout the game, he was efficient at monitoring passes in his own zone and finding the perfect time to pounce on the puck to cause an interception. In fact, on the penalty kill, he managed to intercept the puck quickly after a faceoff draw and that sparked a shorthanded rush. All-in-all, there was a lot to like about Lafrenière’s performance and it is clear that he is still the best prospect in the 2020 NHL Draft class.

Cole Cormier, C, 5-9, 163, 2-21-2002
Charlottetown 3 @ Rimouski 6 – November 26, 2019
Cormier put on a clinic as well. Like Lafrenière, he commonly plays on the right half wall on the power play, but on the second unit. Cormier is far less crafty and has less fantasy upside compared to Lafrenière, but he is still a solid offensive weapon. While Cormier did find paydirt on the power play, there were some other highlights from his performance. He displayed quality speed and a clean zone entry. Instead of going full-force towards the net or making an ill-advised pass, he button hooked to evaluate the situation on the blue line. Cormier saw that there was quite a bit of traffic in front of him, so the button-hook allowed him to see if he had better options. While that might seem insignificant, it was nice to see Cormier take his time and avoid making a costly decision. In addition, Cormier’s turns were tight and he had a solid turn radius. His presence along the boards was solid and Cormier was able to snag the puck away from the Islanders in the offensive zone. The only element of his game that was rough was his passing. At times, Cormier’s passing was crisp and on point, but there were passes that were well off the mark. One of the passes that Cormier struggled with was when he completed a spin move and tried to pass the puck immediately after.

Elliot Desnoyers, LW, 5-11, 179, 1-21-2002
Chicoutimi 0 @ Moncton 4 – November 21, 2019
Desnoyers is a fun left winger to watch out for and reminds me quite a bit of Zach Hyman. He is a speedster, tracks the puck well and is frequently utilized as a penalty kill specialist. Desnoyers’ turns are quick and tight. His edges and crossovers are in relatively good shape. On the penalty kill, he is far from timid and will drop to his knees quite frequently to block shots. In fact, in the third period against Chicoutimi, he had multiple shot blocks, but the one in particular that was interesting to watch was one that he managed to pull off in his defensive zone along the blue line. Desnoyers does not only make smart defensive plays in his own. He will cause takeaways in the offensive zone as well. He had managed to silence a Chicoutimi zone exit and kept the puck in the offensive zone. Speaking of Desnoyers’ work in the offensive zone, most of his success when possessing the puck is when he is in the slot. Against the Saguenéens, he had a solid pivot and pass in the slot and had a scoring chance in the slot as well. Similarly to Cormier, Desnoyers is a top 150 prospect.