Ahead of the 2017-18 season, the Saguenéens’ head coach and general manager Yanick Jean has chosen players that will respect his team’s identity, one that implements discipline on the ice.
« It’s all about feeling like you belong, outperforming and being disciplined. Year in and year out we are the most disciplined team in the league. We will just continue to be”, commented the head coach whose team received the second least penalties last season. “We will have a team with a little more firepower than last year, but we won’t deviate too much from our identity, especially at home where the ice is bigger.”
Jean holds true to his philosophy when setting his expectancies. He wants his players to “keep their values night after night, day after day and all through the calendar year.”
The organization recently named 20-year-old Olivier Galipeau as team captain and the nomination of number 26 has not surprised anyone, he who was previously captain of the Val-d’Or Foreurs.
“We didn’t know if he was going to go play pro, but we knew the type of individual and what type of leader he was”, admitted Jean. “He’s a role model on the ice, off the ice and also in the classrooms. The way he carries himself, he’s just like an adult. He’s somebody who imposes respect simply by looking at him.”
FULL INTERVIEW: Yanick Jean (Head Coach & GM) – FRENCH
Dating back to last December, Yanick Jean has been quite active in the trade market. Eight players from the 2017-18 have been acquired between December 2016 and August 2017; Zachary Bouthillier, Jérémy Diotte, Jérémy Fortin, Olivier Galipeau, Kelly Klima, Kevin Klima, Vincent Milot-Ouellet and Joakim Paradis have all arrived in Saguenay over the past few months.
The last one to have arrived, netminder Zachary Bouthillier, was recently acquired on August 28th. “Goaltender Samuel Cardinal decided to head back home one day prior to the trade deadline”, mentioned the GM. “So we needed another goalie to come in, and wanted one that could potentially win half of his games”, he added. “[Bouthillier] was one of the available goalies that was able to do that for us and we think he’s one that will continue to progress.”
THE 2016-2017 SAGUENÉENS BY THE NUMBERS
Record: 38-25-3-2 (8th)
Eliminated by Saint John in the semifinals
Goals for: 206 (15th)
Goals against: 205 (5th)
Power play: 25,0% (3rd)
Penalty kill: 76,0% (14th)
NAMES TO REMEMBER
German Rubtsov (C)
After arriving in January last season, Rubtsov showed his incredible talent before an injury cut his season short. In the 16 games, he took part in Rubtsov collected 22 points, with one third of his nine goals scored being game-winners.
Kelly and Kevin Klima (RW and C)
The Klima twins arrived in Chicoutimi during last year’s Holiday trade deadline. Kelly had a 49-point season in which 17 came following his trade to Chicoutimi. As for Kevin, he managed to record 14 points in 32 games with the Saguenéens. The 20-year-old Florida natives are entering their third season in the QMJHL.
Vincent Milot-Ouellet (RW)
Acquired at the end of August, Milot-Ouellet enters his first campaign with the Sags. The Trois-Rivières native has played his first two QMJHL season with the Gatineau Olympiques where he cumulated a total of 47 points over the 97 games he played.
Samuel Houde (C)
A first round selection from the Saguenéens back in 2016, Houde will have plenty of opportunities to fill up the scoresheet this year. Following his rookie campaign, the 17-year-old youngster is looking to build off his nine points in 41 games played.
Olivier Galipeau (D)
A veteran of five seasons in the QMJHL, Galipeau is the backbone of the defensive corps and has recently been named team captain by Yanick Jean. Splitting time between the Foreurs and Saguenéens, Galipeau had his best season last year thanks to 45 points in 66 games.
Morgan Nauss (D)
A native of Nova Scotia, Nauss played his first season in Chicoutimi last year after spending the two previous ones in Halifax. He amassed nine points in 55 games in what was his third season in the QMJHL.
Zachary Bouthillier (G)
Acquired in the final hours before having to hand in the team’s final roster, Bouthillier is entering his second QMJHL season between the pipes. Playing for the Shawinigan Cataractes last year, the netminder had 11 wins and 6 losses to his name.