1) Will the Drakkar be the team of first-round picks Bouchard, Élément, Fortier and St-Laurent?
The foursome have got their feet wet in the QMJHL. Bouchard was the top scorer among defensemen, while Fortier could have been among the team’s top point getters had he played a complete season. All 4 players have the chance of earning more responsibilities within the team. They will be accompanied by Justin Blanchette and Hugo Savinsky in the 17-year-old bracket.
‘It’s a 23-man-team here. My job is to enforce the respect of team values. The head coach makes sure the players are in shape, prepares game plans and maintains the leadership intact. The 23 guys need to appropriate this. We work together. Each 17-year-old will have an impact on the team in their own right’
2) A team under Martin Bernard’s direction?
This will be the start of the coach’s 2nd full season with the team. Many of his players are back and have grown alongside him. His efforts have born fruit, as many players have come from camps in much better physical condition.
‘Martin was very comfortable last year. We worked together all season. He shaped-up the team because a team has to be in shape if they want to learn anything. This year the guys are all back in shape.’
3) Can Antoine Samuel continue to be a successful netminder?
The Lac-Etchemin native has settled in nicely with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. In his first complete season with the Drakkar last year, he tallied 19 wins in 52 games adding 2 shutouts. His stats don’t reflect his performance with his former Côte-Nord team. Will he be able to continue delivering the same results with a more mature team?