Canadiens 2014 Draft Targets: Brendan Lemieux

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle

With the draft approaching, it seemed appropriate to profile potential 1st-round picks for the Montreal Canadiens and what their value would be to the team if they were acquired.

Brendan Lemieux of the Barrie Colts is one of the legacy names of the 2014 NHL Draft. He is the son of the notorious Claude Lemieux, an 18-year NHL veteran who had a solid reputation for playoff performances, along with being a noted agitator.

The 6'1", 210 pound left winger offers the profile of a power forward, something the Canadiens are likely still in search of after drafting Michael McCarron in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Ideally, the team should not find itself held hostage to drafting on size or by style, yet it is typically on the mind of many teams to try and acquire the coveted power forward who will provide a physical and scoring impact in a game.

While the Canadiens have given outsiders a mixed view of what their intentions are towards building the team to contend, I would not discount Lemieux being high on their board when their turn comes around.

Lemieux is described to resemble his father very much in style of play, he will finish his checks, engage in after-whistle antics at times to rile up his opponents and when engaged will typically play on the edge, sometimes too far to his and his team's disadvantage though.

He is credited with a good skating stride and balance, he shows good agility but is not credited with an impressive top speed or great acceleration. He's rated with good hands and a strong shot. He's adept at winning battles for the puck and in offensive zone cycling. Unfortunately, he is not rated with a very complete game at present though.

Scouting:


Future Considerations:

"Lemieux is a solid skater, but it takes him a few strides to get up to speed. He works hard and what he lacks in speed, he makes up for in size and determination. He has the ability to pull away from players when in possession of the puck and is very agile. He dishes accurate, crisp passes and has good hands. He controls the puck with ease and the timing of his passes are near perfect. ."

McKeen's Hockey:

"A chip off the old block, Brendan plays much like his father Claude, a decorated 20-year NHL pro, with an innate ability to rattle the opposition .. plays on the edge but can take unnecessary and costly penalties .. adding an element of discipline would benefit his game .. hampered by a wavering work ethic and does not always engage in a game from start to finish .. "

Hockey Prospect:

"Lemieux is definitely his father’s son. He’s the type of player that every team needs, and opponents hate to play against. He’ll take a hit to make a play, and will dish out more than his fair share of punishment. He always finishes his checks, and more often than not he’ll give a little more after the whistle. Almost every game he seems to get under his opponent’s skin."

Rankings:

Future Considerations: 37

Hockey Prospect:  26

McKeen's Hockey: 50

Craig Button: 33

International Scouting Services: N/A

Average Ranking: 36.5

Thoughts:

While his offensive numbers do not jump off the page,  he does have a respectable scoring level as a budding power forward and he was point per game during his team's playoff run.

There's no denying it, he's displayed an unfortunate lack of discipline. Lemieux feels more of a 'safe' pick than a risk-reward take as breaking into the NHL with his style of play would not be overly difficult, but he might be less likely than others to contribute a high level of scoring to help his team win games.

Naturally, there is the argument that you need a player like Brendan Lemieux to make room for more skilled players, but with the Canadiens arguably short of true top-end talent, they may want to be more daring with their 1st-round pick than this player.

It's safe to assume that he'll be on Montreal's draft list though, given the team's apparent interest in adding size and power through the draft.

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