Last year, Raw Charge selected for the Tampa Bay Lightning defender Haydn Fleury (19th overall) and forward Jakub Vrana (28th overall). Following the Braydon Coburn trade where Tampa Bay sent their 1st round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Lightning are left with just the 1st rounder that previously belonged to the New York Rangers.
With the 28th overall pick, Raw Charge is pleased to select, from the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, forward Anthony Beauvillier.
First, the raw stats:
94 points in 67 games is eye-popping offensive output, even in the defensively suspect QMJHL; it's even more impressive when you consider his age: Beauvillier just turned 18 this month.
He finished 8th in scoring in the Q, behind a handful of guys mostly older than him, some of whom have already been drafted. He was undoubtedly the offensive driver on his line and his team, as well; no one for Shawinigan finished within 20 points of him (21 year old winger Christophe Lalonde was closest, with 73 points, though he also played some games with the Moncton WIldcats).
The boxcars are impressive, and the offensive skillset will certainly be tempting for the Tampa Bay Lightning should he still be available at 28th overall like he was for us. From Elite Prospects:
A dynamic scoring center with good hockey sense. Not very large in stature, but makes up for it in speed, skill, and cunning. A talented puck-handler with good hands: is equally efficient a passer as he is a goal scorer. All-in-all, an offensively minded center that can outplay the opposition in a number of different ways. Needs to work on discipline and getting stronger. (Curtis Joe, EP 2014)
We're happy getting another high-end top-6 player with some flexibility in his game; experience playing center is a plus for Beauvillier but Tampa Bay has had no issue moving guys to the wing to find them more (and more sheltered) minutes. He'll fit in wherever the Lightning have room.
There were some other names we discussed in this spot; Denis Guryanov, Dmytro Timashov, and Nikita Korostelev would all be good adds at this point; Daniel Sprong and Jacob Larsson were both on our board and would have made our decision difficult, but Pension Plan Puppets and Anaheim Calling made our job a little easier by selecting them just before our pick. We also discussed adding a power forward in this spot -- Brock Boeser was still available -- but ultimately opted who we felt was the highest skill guy left on the table.
It's easy to look at a 90+ point CHL center and feel good about grabbing him at the end of the 1st; it's patently absurd that the Lightning got one in the 3rd round last year (Brayden Point). If Beauvillier goes where he's projected to go by more than a few scouting services, there's a good chance he winds up being a huge steal.
- TSN (McKenzie): 43
- ISS Hockey: 41
- TSN (Button): 18
- Future Considerations: 31