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Cormier, Tourigny and Villeneuve nominated for Defenseman of the Year award

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The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today announced the three finalists for the Émile-Bouchard Trophy, awarded to the League’s top defenseman. The 2021-22 nominees are Lukas Cormier (Islanders), Miguël Tourigny (Titan) and William Villeneuve (Sea Dogs). 

The award is named after Montreal Canadiens alumnus and Hall of Famer Émile “Butch” Bouchard, who excelled in the National Hockey League from 1941 to 1956. He won four Stanley Cups and was voted to the NHL All-Star team on four occasions. Past recipients of the award include high-end QMJHL alumni such as Kristopher Letang, Samuel Girard and Thomas Chabot.  

Following training camp with the Vegas Golden Knights, Lukas Cormier came back to the Charlottetown Islanders squad to prove his worth. Vegas’ third round selection in 2020 (68th overall) ended the campaign with the most goals (33) and the most points (81) among QMJHL defensemen. Although applauded for his offensive skills, he was equally stellar defensively, maintaining a solid plus/minus differential of +40.  

Miguël Tourigny continued his hot streak on offence, finishing only one point behind Cormier with 31 goals and 49 assists. Invited to the Anaheim Ducks training camp last fall, the Victoriaville native was traded from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan during the Christmas trade period. He rewarded the Titan organization by piling up 40 points, including three game-winning goals. He also ended the 2021-22 season with a solid +16 differential.  

William Villeneuve was a vital component of the Sea Dogs’ success this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect (4th round – 2020) met expectations for the organization on the blue line by posting 56 points (8 goals, 48 assists) in 64 regular season games. He also maintained an outstanding plus/minus rating of +60. Drafted second overall in the 2018 QMJHL Draft and then developed by Saint John, he’s been a huge part of the franchise’s rebuild that will chase a Memorial Cup title next June.  

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