September 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 September.

Alexis Lafrenière, LW, 6-1, 192, 10-11-2001
Rimouski 1 @ Baie-Comeau 2 – September 20, 2019
Lafrenière was not at the top of his game, but it was the first game of the regular season for Rimouski. His speed was not on display, but he made up for it with solid edge work and quality skating. Lafrenière did a great job of controlling the pace of the game. He loves skating with the puck in the offensive zone and waiting for the opportune moment to complete a pass or a shot. Unfortunately, Lafrenière was not able to capitalize, but he demonstrated his cannon of a shot and good accuracy. He also showed how impressive his stickhandling is as he was able to evade his opponents in the offensive and neutral zones with swift puck maneuvering. In terms of his defensive game, he is exceptional at causing breakups in every zone and creating offensive rushes. The only area of Lafrenière’s game that needs improvement is passing in high-traffic situations. There are times where Lafrenière will deliver crisp, quality passes in high traffic, but it is not consistent. Sometimes, Lafrenière will make a poor decision that will lead to an ugly interception. It is small flaw in Lafrenière’s game, but he will overcome it and further develop into an offensive super star. Understandably, he is currently projected to go No. 1 in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Dawson Mercer, RW, 6-0, 172, 10-27-2001
Quebec 6 @ Drummondville 4 – September 22, 2019
Mercer had a solid game against the Remparts. While he failed to put his name onto the scoresheet, he was still instrumental in Drummondville’s passive offensive attack. Mercer illustrated his crisp passing and his ability to fire shots from across that offensive zone that pave the way for rebounds. His linemate, Jérémy Lapointe loves to position himself in front of the opposing goaltender, so Mercer was looking to fire shots off of Remparts goaltender Carmine-Anthony Pagliarulo to allow Lapointe to capitalize. Unfortunately, Lapointe failed to have much success with the rebounds, but Mercer did his best at feeding him all the rebounds that he could ask for. In terms of Mercer’s skating, he used his speed to carry the puck up the ice efficiently. Unfortunately, he coughed up the puck along the boards in the defensive zone, but most of the time he was electric at carrying the puck up the ice and creating clean zone entries. While he turned over the puck on occasion, he still illustrated his excellent skating and had solid edgework. The only area of his skating that needs improvement is his turns. If he could tighten his turns, he would be even more lethal when skating the puck up the ice. Towards the end of the game, Mercer had lined up at center and took a few faceoff draws. Drummondville was attempting to load up their top line with offensive firepower to get back into the game, so it made sense for Mercer to play centre. Yet, Mercer is more efficient at wing and would likely suffer in performance at the NHL level if he played center full-time. Mercer is currently projected to be a late first round selection in the draft.

Jacob Dion, D, 5-9, 172, 11-1-2001
Quebec 6 @ Drummondville 4 – September 22, 2019
Dion put on a great display against the Remparts and was the most efficient defenseman for the Voltiguers. He enjoyed controlling the pace of the game and was a quality playmaker in the offensive zone. Dion had spectacular cross-ice passes and great shots from the point. In addition, he showed to have great vision and was constantly finding teammates in open lanes. When he failed to find teammates who were open and found himself in high danger scenarios, Dion completed passes off of the boards to avoid interceptions. While he was exceptional at identifying open teammates and completing crisp passes, he did have a bad pass in the neutral zone which paved the way for an interception and an offensive rush for Québec. It was one mistake and hopefully Dion will learn from it. When you look at Dion’s skating, one is left in awe. Dion has a good stride, solid edges, transitions from forwards to backwards well and has an ace of a spin move. In the defensive zone, Dion will be physical at times and will hunt for the puck along the boards. He will also play very conservatively and will plant himself next to his goaltender. Dion is projected to be a late round selection.