Tonight, the Victoriaville Tigers retire Alexandre Daigle’s # 91. We’ll take the opportunity to show you some comparisons between the 8 QMJHL forwards who became first round NHL draft picks. Daigle is following in Crosby’s footsteps in a very revealing category, and we will add a name to the list of who could also be the first chosen in 2017: Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads (PHOTO).
2017’s TOP PROSPECTS
- Nico Hischier (Halifax) – Scouts appreciate the offensive qualities he displays night after night. The 76-point scorer (in 45 games) has already thwarted QMJHL goalies on 37 occasions. In fact, in 2016-17 he has maintained the 2nd best point-per-game average in the league (1.69) – just behind Filip Chlapik (Charlottetown, 1.81 , 78 points). It wouldn’t come as a surprise if he were to be honoured with a few trophies at the next QMJHL Gold Pucks Gala. In addition, as announced by NHL Central Scouting at the end of January, he is in the company of Nolan Patrick (Brandon, 29 points, 18 games, average 1.61), one of the two more interesting North American prospects who will probably be selected in June in Chicago. So, for the sake of the following, we will imagine that Hischier will become the 9th forward from the QMJHL to be named as the first-overall choice in the National Hockey League draft.
FIRST-OVERALL PICKS THAT CAME FROM THE Q
- 8 forwards and one goalie – this is the current count since 1970 of QMJHL players who were first-overall picks. (1998, Tampa Bay), Dale Hawerchuk (1981, Winnipeg), Mario Lemieux (1984, Laval), Pierre Turgeon (1987, Buffalo), Alexandre Daigle Only goaltender Marc-André Fleury (2003, Pittsburgh), Sidney Crosby (2005, Pittsburgh) and Nathan MacKinnon (2013, Colorado). Here are the comparisons of our 1st choices.
GREATEST OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO HIS TEAM
- Key statistic of our analysis – we will use the percentage obtained, of the number of POINTS scored by a player versus the number of GOALS tallied by his team when the player was in its uniform. We will shorten the term to “PTS%” from now on. This is a revealing statistic that shows the player’s offensive contribution to his team, and which also shows the impact he could have had in the QMJHL as a whole at that time.
BEST 17-YEAR-OLD PLAYERS
- Sidney Crosby (Rimouski) – OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO HIS TEAM: 6%. He dominated the QMJHL at all levels during his two seasons in the major junior. In the 2004-05 regular season, his second year in the league, he was 17 years old. He is our best player of this age group when we consider his 168 points compared to the 302 goals scored by the Rimouski Oceanic in the 62 games in which he took part. In the 8 games missed by the famous # 87, the Océanic scored 3.9 goals per game, one less on average compared to the games in which Crosby participated (4.9).
- Alexandre Daigle (Victoriaville) – OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO HIS TEAM: 5%. He comes second among 17 year olds with his contribution. In only 53 games, he totaled 137 points; an average of 2.6 points per game. When participated in a game in 1992-93, the Tigres scored an average of 5.2 times per game. When Daigle he was absent however, their performance was reduced to 4.8 goals per game. It was during the 1992-93 season that Victoriaville earned its team record of 358 goals in one season.
- Nico Hischier (Halifax) – OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO HIS CURRENT TEAM: 2%. If we were to compare him to the last first choice, Nathan MacKinnon, he is ahead of him with his current contribution. MacKinnon had been directly linked to 33.8% of the Mooseheads’ goals in 2012-13, but let’s not forget that he was part of a solid offensive squad that included Jonathan Drouin. To finish with Hischier, when he was absent, his teammates maintained a relatively low average of 2.6 goals scored per game, but when he was in uniform, the team scores an average 3.91 goals per match. What a difference he makes: They have a record of 2 wins against 7 losses when isn’t on the ice!
IN A CLASS, APART (18/19 YEAR OLDS)
- Mario Lemieux (Laval, 1983-84) – OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO HIS TEAM: 5%. Two of our top 9 players were drafted when they had reached the age of 18. The magnificent Mario Lemieux of the Laval Voisins was one of those two. He collected 282 points, including 133 goals – two QMJHL records that have held for 33 years. Lemieux participated in each of his team’s 70 games, in which they scored 527 times; equivalent to 7.53 per game, not far from the Sorel league record (1973-74, 8.86, 620 goals). In the playoffs, Lemieux pulled out all the stops, earning 52 points in just 14 games, and taking part in 60.5% of the attack Laval generated in the spring of 1984. The Voisins won the President Cup, and Lemieux received the Guy-Lafleur trophy for most valuable player.
- Guy Lafleur (Quebec, 1970-71) – – OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO HIS TEAM: 8% … by virtue of his 209 points in only 62 games! He is the only one of our select group who was drafted at 19 after playing junior, which was the age of eligibility for the draft at that time. Lafleur and the Remparts won all honours in 1971. Among our first picks, Lafleur was the first to win the Memorial Cup in the same year as his draft, before Dale Hawerchuk (1981) and Nathan MacKinnon (2013) achieved the same feat.
BEST OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO HIS MAJOR JUNIOR TEAM OF FIRST-ROUND NHL DRAFT PICKS WHO CAME FROM THE QMJHL
|By draft year: regular season stats|
THE ALL TIME BEST, INCLUDING PLAYOFFS
- Sidney Crosby (Rimouski) – In fact, the former Oceanic No. 87 took part in more than one goal out of two in his team’s 143 games. A total of 350 points out of the 658 goals scored by his team; including QMJHL playoff games. What production!
BEST OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO HIS MAJOR JUNIOR TEAM OF FIRST-ROUND NHL DRFAT PICKS WHO CAME FROM THE QMJHL
|Lifetime record, including regular season and playoffs|
IN THE NHL – rookie season
- Dale Hawerchuk (Winnipeg) – having led the Cornwall Royals to top honors in 1980-81, Hawerchuk became the most productive in terms of points among our first-round picks, in his rookie season. With 103 points, he beats the exciting rookie years of the two famous Penguins; Sidney Crosby (102 points, 2005-06) and Mario Lemieux (100, 1984-85). On the other hand, Lemieux is the one who maintained the highest pace with 1.37 points per game.
BEST NHL ROOKIE SEASON OF FIRST-ROUND NHL DRAFT PICKS WHO CAME FROM THE QMJHL
IN THE NHL – life time in regular season
- Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh) – had the greatest career of all. With 1,723 points, he is at the top of our list of top picks. His average points per regular season game in the National League is an outstanding 1.88. The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, scored just over 1.92, with an NHL record of 2857 points in 1487 games. Let us remember in the case of Lemieux, that he found the back of the net 690 times, in only 915 outings.
- Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) – He is the only first choice, along with Nathan MacKinnon, to be currently pursuing a career in the NHL. At the time of writing on Tuesday morning, he was only two points behind the 1,000 mark. Turgeon, Lafleur, Hawerchuk and Lemieux are already part of the 1000-point club.
BEST LIFETIME REGULAR-SEASON NHL SCORECARD BY FIRST-ROUND PICKS FROM THE QMJHL
|Statistics compiled on the morning of February 14th, 2017|
|Dale Hawerchuk||WIN, BUF, STL, PHI||1188||518||891||1409||1,19||-92||740|
|Guy Lafleur||MTL, NYR, QUE||1126||560||793||1353||1,20||453||399|
|Pierre Turgeon||BUF, NYI, MTL, STL, DAL, COL||1294||515||812||1327||1,03||139||452|
|Vincent Lecavalier||TB, PHI, LA||1212||421||528||949||0,78||-140||848|
|Alexandre Daigle||OTT, PHI, TB, NYR, PIT, MIN,||616||129||198||327||0,53||-176||186|
- Thank you – In finishing, I have to highlight the excellent contributions of my colleagues Stéphane Lajeunesse and Frédéric Damiani in the development of the above tables. And I don’t want to forget the weekly contribution of Steven Cadovius who prepares our main photos along with our logo. Good weekend to all!