Quality evident from QMJHL

Special To FC2015 Draft Center

While there’s a chance that a member of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League isn’t selected in the top-10 of the 2015 NHL Draft, there’s plenty of depth to satisfy.

Only one player from the QMJHL went in the first round of the 2014 draft, but as many as eight could be called in 2015, surely a banner year.

As part of Future Considerations’ coverage leading into the NHL Draft, here’s a look at the best that the QMJHL has to offer.

No. 13
TEAM: Sherbrooke (QMJHL)
BORN: May 14, 1997
VITALS: 6’-0” / 185 Lbs
STATS LINE: 46 GP 5 G 38 A 43 PTS 37 PIM

The highly skilled, offensive defenseman is an extremely intelligent player and it shows on the ice. Roy has even drawn comparisons to Duncan Keith by multiple NHL scouts. In 46 games, he scored five goals and 43 points.

Roy’s incredible hockey knowledge is evident each night as he’s constantly aware of everyone on the ice and is able to adapt himself to the given play. His quick decision-making has made him reliable in almost any situation. Where he puts himself ahead of others is with his offensive game. Roy is fantastic at setting up a quick breakout to move from the defensive, into the offensive zone. On the power play, he is able to set up am attack and either throw pinpoint passes, or get a quick shot on net through traffic.

“Honestly, I love this guy and he might have been the top defenseman for me all year,” Future Considerations scout Guillaume Gervais said. “Versatile defenseman who isn’t afraid to throw his weight around. Plays smart during the power play, great quarterback. His shot is as hard as they come. Can shoot laser beams top corner, or distribute to a waiting forward for a quick one-timer.”

Perhaps most importantly, Roy possesses talents that cannot be taught. His character and leadership abilities are absolutely an asset to any team. He also appeared in the U18 tournament for Team Canada, registering three goals and four pints in seven games. Roy is expected to go somewhere around the middle of the first round.

No. 14
POSITION: Right Wing
TEAM: Halifax (QMJHL)
BORN: October 6, 1996
VITALS: 6’-1” / 210 Lbs
STATS LINE: 61 GP 44 G 46 A 90 PTS 59 PIM

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Switzerland product has consistently risen up the draft rankings throughout the year. He is a late 1996 birthday who is known for his incredible versatility and goal scoring ability.

Meier did his part to climb by scoring 44 goals and 90 points in 61 games this season. He was able to impress scouts in many scenarios as he suited up for Switzerland in the World Junior Championship and added six points in six games. He was also selected for the CHL Top Prospects Game, scoring a goal and two assists in a 6-0 win.

Meier has a quick release on a hard snap shot that he uses to find the back of the net regularly. His versatility will definitely help to raise his stock come draft day.

No. 16
TEAM: Cape Breton (QMJHL)
BORN: October 31, 1996
VITALS: 6’-3” / 205 Lbs
STATS LINE: 55 GP 32 G 46 A 78 PTS 70 PIM

The Native of Neftegorsk, Russia came over to North America in his draft year to play for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL. He took a while to adapt to the new style of play, but ended up with 32 goals and 78 points in 55 games.

The late 1996 born winger is the complete package offensively. Svechnikov has a hard and extremely accurate shot, as well as great vision for passing lanes and shot selection. He’s a good skater, but could be exceptional if he would use his size more to his advantage.

“While Svechnikov is already a dangerous player I think he still has a lot of room to grow,” Gervais said. “He still has some bad habits, and he could be a more consistent offensive force. Overall I think Svechnikov has both the tools and potential to warrant a high selection and if he continues to pile up the points, the sky is the limit.”

The only knock on Svechnikov is in his defensive game. He sometimes seems to only have offense on his mind, which could be a big worry to NHL teams in what is a huge two-way league now. He must also learn to use his size more effectively, both in the physical side of the game and to drive by opponents.

No. 18
POSITION: Right Wing
TEAM: Charlottetown (QMJHL)
BORN: March 17, 1997
VITALS: 6’-0” / 190 Lbs
STATS LINE: 68 GP 39 G 49 A 88 PTS 18 PIM

Originally form Amsterdam, Sprong has honed his game in Canada over the past two seasons with the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL. The goal-scoring winger scored 39 goals and 88 points in 68 games this year.

Sprong is a strong skater who can reach top speeds very quickly. He has silky smooth hands, which he uses to get past defensemen and create opportunities. Along with his very accurate snap shot, Sprong is also a skilled passer. He is able to find lanes with ease and seems to always know where his teammates are.

No. 20
TEAM: Saint John (QMJHL)
BORN: February 21, 1997
VITALS: 6’-2” / 185 Lbs
STATS LINE: 45 GP 13 G 20 A 33 PTS 73 PIM

The Brno, Czech Republic native joined the QMJHL this year and was able to adapt quickly. He is an all around complete defenseman who does everything well and nothing poorly.

Zboril has very high upside, and is extremely impressive in all three zones. In his own end, he is smart with his stick position and is able to use it to knock the puck away or deflect passes and shot away from the net. He’s not afraid to throw his weight round either, as he often lays out opponents to separate them from the puck. He is quick on the breakout, making the high percentage plays to transition the puck into the offensive zone.

“Love this kid’s willingness to play a little dirty defensively and contribute to the offensive side of the game as well. He has some areas and wrinkles to work out and improve upon but he is a versatile defenceman that’s got all the raw tools it takes to become a top-pair minute munching defenceman in the NHL one day.”

On the attack, Zboril is terrific with his shot from the point. He understands when to let his hard, accurate slap shot go, and when to settle down the play to find other opportunites. He score 13 goals and 33 points in his 44 games. He also scored four goals and six points in five U18 games for Czech Republic.

Article by Devin Slawson