Alexis Vanier

Darren Walker

A big, nasty, offensive-minded blueliner. The Q has been blessed with smooth big men lately, however, Vanier is not one of them. That being said, he’s not a bad skater and produces decent speed once he gets moving. Needs to work on his stops and starts, and his agility. Controls the puck well and likes to rush it up ice. Sees the ice well and makes some skilled passes that you would not expect from such a monster on skates. Has a heavy, heavy slap shot that would be top three on a few NHL teams already. Sets up for a killer one-timer on the power play that not many are brave enough to block, and those who do are prescribed heavy amounts of ice afterward. A physical, mean body checker who destroys opponents. A feared fighter and one who not many were willing to challenge. In individual battles, there’s no way to move him off the puck. He is effective in front clearing bodies and is a big guy to get pucks through. Makes some bad decisions with the puck at times in his own zone. He is a big, mean offensive defenseman who has some work to do on his defensive game and foot speed. Skating deficiencies will hold him back if not improved. (May 2014)