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Scouts must stop disrespecting Justin Poirier
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

In recent months, Justin Poirier’s name has been the talk of the QMJHL. The 17-year-old forward, who will be eligible for the next draft, scored 51 goals in 68 games during the Quebec junior circuit’s regular season.

And in the playoffs, the kid is rolling at more than a point-goal per game. That’s no mean feat, especially at his age.

In fact, a 17-year-old scoring 50 goals in a single season in the QMJHL is pretty rare… and often a sign of good things to come. Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Michel Goulet, Daniel Brière and Pat LaFontaine are among those on this (rather short) list.

But even so, the 5-foot-8 Poirier is seen as a third-round pick, and perhaps even a later pick in the upcoming auction.

So I tend to agree with Jean-Nicolas Blanchet, who says in a recent TVA Sports piece that it’s high time to put some respect behind Poirier’s name.

Right now, when you look at Poirier’s profile, he really looks like a guy who will be seen as the “middle rounds home run” of the draft. A bit like Brayden Point, Conor Garland (another former QMJHLer) or, if you look at Montreal, Lane Hutson.

And what do all these players have in common? They fell at the draft because they’re small, even though their talent was undeniable. Hutson is still a preliminary case because we haven’t seen much of him in the NHL yet (although he did well in his first two games), but Point and Garland have been rolling in the Bettman circuit for years.

Poirier has the talent to become one of those players. He knows how to score, and you can’t buy that.

In fact, with the Habs drafting late in the second round with the Avalanche’s pick, one has to wonder if it wouldn’t be wise for the club to reach into its own backyard and take a chance on the talented Poirier. He’s not a perfect prospect, but if they can pull off another Lane Hutson-esque move while picking up a local player as well, it seems like a good bet to me.

Especially as the club already has some big men up front who can compensate for Poirier’s smaller stature.

We’ll see which team gives Poirier a chance, but it’s high time scouts stopped disrespecting him. Because no matter how you look at it, there’s undeniable potential in the Quebec forward.

In a gaggle

– Speaking of the Drakkar and Justin Poirier.

– Indeed.

– Have a good listen.

– Pacers end Bucks’ season.

– News on the case.

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