The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced today the nominations for the Paul-Dumont Trophy. The 2019–2020 finalists are Alexis Lafrenière (Rimouski Océanic), Dawson Mercer (Chicoutimi Saguenéens) and Matthew Welsh (Charlottetown Islanders).
The award is named after former league executive director and president Paul Dumont, who also served as the general manager of the Quebec Remparts. Moreover, he co-founded the Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament.
The Paul-Dumont Trophy recognizes individuals who had a positive media impact and helped improve the league’s image throughout the season. Past recipients include well-known personalities such as Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Drouin, Brad Richards and Michel Therrien.
Alexis Lafrenière received more media attention than most hockey personalities in 2019–2020. The St-Eustache native has been the consensus number 1 selection of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft for years. His talent and high hockey IQ drew even more attention during his draft year but that did prevent him from leading the QMJHL in scoring with 112 points in 52 games. The 18-year-old also performed extremely well on the international stage, earning tournament MVP honors as Team Canada’s captain during the country’s gold medal run at the World Juniors. Lafrenière also captained Team White at the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects game.
Dawson Mercer was probably this year’s quickest rising star. Underestimated at the beginning of the 2019–2020 campaign, his irreproachable work ethic, his outstanding talent and his amazing personality made him a favourite for most fans, scouts and media members. The pride of Bay Roberts, Newfoundland exceeded expectations all season long. He was rewarded with invitations to the CIBC Canada Russia Series, the World Junior Championship – where he won gold alongside Lafrenière – and the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Matthew Welsh is definitely one of the best goaltenders, students and individuals that has ever played in the QMJHL. The Halifax native just ended his fifth and final season with the Charlottetown Islanders. He became the league’s all-time record holder for most minutes played by a goaltender, achieving the milestone over an impressive 224-game career. The 20-year-old is also a positive role model for current and future student-athletes. He proved throughout his major junior career that it is possible to perform on the ice and in class. Furthermore, Welsh drew a lot of media attention for his outstanding community involvement and his charismatic personality.