Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours in rinks across the world in an effort to gather 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 October.
Nathan Légaré, RW, QMJHL, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL), 6-0, 196, DOB 1-11-2001
Légaré is an intense power forward. As soon as the puck drops, the winger immediately flies around the ice with his blasting speed putting an incredible pressure on the puck carrier. He is always at 100 percent and his competitiveness is strong. With this intensity, he wins most of his physical battles on the forecheck and in the defensive zone. He protects his puck very well, too, with good upper body strength and strong edges. Légaré as good offensive instincts and can position himself at the right place to get high quality scoring chances. He has a powerful slap shot and some great finishing skills up front. He’s definitely the biggest riser out of the QMJHL to date.
Artemi Knyazev, D, Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL), 5-11, 176, DOB 1-4-2001
Knyazev is a puck-moving offensive defenseman. He has a great speed, agility and some fluid edges that allow him to go end-to-end with ease. He has a very smooth stride and some quick turns. He generates a lot of zone exits and entries with his nice rushes or neutral zones passes. He does not have the most precise passes, but with his flashy skills, he often attracts all the pressure on him leaving his teammates open. His offensive instincts are amazing and he never hesitates to join the rush. He loves to throw off the opponent with head fakes and quick direction changes. In the offensive zone, he is very poised and he’s always moving to adapt to the play. When Knyazev sees an opportunity, he doesn’t hesitate to go deep in the zone. His release his a strength and he can get a shot to the net from pretty much every position. He also can fake his shot effectively to get a better shooting lane. For an offensive defenseman, his involvement in the defensive play is a positive, but there is still work to do.
Maxim Cajkovic, F, St-John Sea Dogs (QMJHL), 5-11, 187, DOB 1-3-2001
Cajkovic is a complete two-way forward. Even though he has some high-end skills, he is not very flashy as he often makes the safe pass before trying a crazy dangle. His vision and passing abilities are excellent. He finds his teammates without needing to look at them and always make precise passes right on the tape. Cajkovic often open the plays with great neutral zone passes and knows where he will pass before even getting the puck. He has a very powerful slap shot and wrister, with which he often aims at the top of the net. His separation speed is great and he can get rushes or breakaway with it. He also got slick hands with which he can make room for himself to shoot. Cajkovic makes efforts to defend and can often steal the puck from the attacker or at least destabilize him with well-timed stick-lifts. The same applies on the forecheck. He has a smart hockey IQ and makes great decisions quickly. Cajkovic has no real weakness as he got skills in every aspect of the play.