We are all starved for hockey, as evidenced by me writing this post and you reading it, but luckily some of our prospects are already back in action, including those playing in the Q. While Philippe Daoust has rightfully been big news with his ppg pace after the Sens took a flyer on him in the 6th round, we need to take more about Maxence Guenette.
The 187th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Guenette is now playing in his fourth season in the QMJHL. He's a right-handed defenceman (a big need in Ottawa), he's got decent size and is in his second year as an assistant captain for the Val D'Or Foreurs.
Right now Guenette is scoring at above a ppg from the backend on what is looking like one of the teams to beat in the Q this year, if we ever get to a place where there are playoffs again. And while Guenette obviously wasn't ready in his draft year to be picked above the seventh round, you can see from his past seasons, that he has been building towards this type of production and it's not just a fluke.
Now of course, the Q tends to have inflated stats compared to some other junior leagues and there are plenty of examples of players who had great last years in junior and then never made it, but when watching him, Guenette clearly has the tools to succeed if he puts the work in, and I see no reason he couldn't be a more successful version of Max Lajoie and actually stick in the NHL as a bottom-4 defender.
To make it, Guenette is likely going to have to beat out one of Brannstrom, Thomson and JBD for a spot on the right side of the blueline, but he certainly seems to have the talent and work ethic you like to see in a prospect and I think he might surprise and knock one of those first rounders out of the conversation for the Sens blueline of the future.
What do you think? Are you excited about Guenette? Do you think this year is a fluke because of COVID and he will vanish into the ether? Let me know!