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CWHL Draft Preview: Forwards

We take a look at four forwards with roots in Montreal and Quebec

Steve McLaughlin

There are a record number of prospects registered for the 2016 CWHL Player Draft. This is the third of three articles highlighting the top players at each position, as well as those who seem like fits in Montreal with Les Canadiennes.

The CWHL Draft works differently than most drafts we see in sports. When they register for the draft, the players can choose up to three teams they would be willing to play for, and only those teams can draft the player. If a player chooses the Greater Toronto Area, that counts as two teams as both the Toronto Furies and Brampton Thunder can choose the player.

Once a player is registered, any team they list can pick them at any point. There can be no preferences within a player’s multi-team list.

Here are some of the top forwards available on Sunday who may end up calling Montreal their CWHL home.

Marion Allemoz, University of Montreal

Allemoz came to the University of Montreal from France, where she is the captain of the French national team.

She won’t wow you with scoring statistics but she is a solid player on both ends of the ice and was the captain of the Carabins this season. She has won two CIS National Championships with Montreal, including this past season. She also won a Bronze Medal at the Division 1A World Championships this year.

Her best season was 2012-13 when she had 12 goals, 11 assists in 20 games. In all, she had 62 points in 84 regular season games and 19 points in 23 playoff games.

She is a player who can play all parts of the game, but likely won’t be asked to play offensively in the CWHL. She could provide a lineup with a nice boost from the bottom six.

The CWHL has players from six different countries in the draft: Japan, Mexico, Russia and France alongside Canada and the United States.

Ariane Barker, University of Montreal

Barker is one of the best scorers to ever play in the University of Montreal program. She has front end skill and talent and will be able to help any team immediately at the CWHL level.

She, like Allemoz, is coming off of five seasons at the school where she was dominant. In 95 regular season games, she had 72 goals and 51 assists for 123 points. She was even better in the playoffs. In 35 games in the Quebec conference playoffs and CIS championships, she had 19 goals and 13 assists for 32 points.

It took an even bigger turn this season. After back to back 32 point seasons (in 20 games), Barker only had 19 this year. But in the playoffs, she had eight goals and three assists (11 points) in only seven games. She led all scorers in the CIS championships, and with efforts like this opening goal in the Quarterfinal vs Calgary it’s easy to see why she’ll be coveted.

Barker also represented Canada at the Universiade in 2014-15. She has never been invited to a Hockey Canada selection camp, even at the U-18 or U-22 levels but Rebecca Vint, Kim Deschenes, Elana Lovell and Katia Clement-Heydra (among others) have shown that doesn’t mean that you can’t perform at an extremely high level in the CWHL.

Sarah Lefort, Boston University

Marie-Philip Poulin left Boston University as the school’s all-time leading scorer, but on February 28, Sarah Lefort broke her record. Lefort has 183 to Poulin’s 181. Poulin did play almost the equivalent of one season less than Lefort, but it is impressive when you push Poulin down the leaderboard regardless of circumstances.

While Lefort and Poulin did play together, you need to be careful to assume that Lefort was only successful because of Poulin. In Lefort’s four seasons, two were without Poulin completely.

In 2013-14, when Poulin was with the Canadian National team in preparation for the Sochi Olympics, Lefort tied Jenn Wakefield’s school goal scoring record with 32 goals in 38 games. She also added 23 assists.

Last year, she had 35 points (13 goals) in 34 games.

Lefort, who had 92 goals in 146 career games has a reputation of a goal scorer and uses a great wrist shot to do so.

She is a member of the Canadian National team program, playing in the U-18 Worlds in 2012. She made her senior team debut this year at the Four Nations Cup.

Lefort wears No. 9 in honour of Maurice Richard.

Kayla Tutino, Boston University

Kayla Tutino, who was born in Montreal but played high school hockey in Ontario, is also entering the CWHL Draft after a great career at Boston University. Tutino actually scored the goal that Lefort assisted on to pass Poulin’s record.

She ranks third all-time in school history scoring behind just Lefort and Poulin. She actually played five years because her first Junior season, in 2013-14, was cut short by an injury.

She was named team Most Valuable Player in both her freshman and senior seasons, and was the captain of the Terriers last year.

She has not played for Team Canada, but has been invited to the Development program’s training camps in the past.

While Tutino doesn’t have the pedigree as Lefort or Poulin, she can definitely come in and be a key contributor for a CWHL team.