Emmanuelle Blais is a top-six forward for Les Canadiennes de Montreal, and while she doesn't get the attention of a Caroline Ouellette or Ann-Sophie Bettez, she also doesn't look out of place as the third person on that line.
Blais cemented herself on the team's top line midway through the season and despite only playing 18 (of 24) games, she had five goals and nine assists for 14 points. Over her CWHL career, she has averaged over a point a game both in the regular season and in the playoffs.
During the Clarkson Cup this past season, she scored two goals and an assist in three games including a game-winning goal in Game Two against the Calgary Inferno. It was a beauty and showed what she can do in space if defenders focus on her linemates.
Blais played her CEGEP hockey at Dawson College where she was a teammate of several Canadiennes teammates like Bettez, recent draft pick Karell Emard, former Star Sara Dagenais and Catherine Ward, who just retired from Team Canada. She then played NCAA hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where she was named an All-American in 2010 and won a championship in 2008. She was named most outstanding player at the 2010 Frozen Four.
She was also a member of the National Program, spending 2006-2010 in the U-22 program and played two games at the Senior National Team level. She is going into her sixth year with Les Canadiennes and has won two Clarkson Cup championships.
As well as being a top forward in the CWHL, Blais also competes in CrossFit and has finished in the Top 100 in the Canada East region the last two years. To give you an idea of how impressive that is, this year had almost 3,000 competitors in the region.
Blais' role with Les Canadiennes may change this year. With the influx of talented scorers, including Marie-Philip Poulin, Blais will be a huge part of Montreal's depth scoring this season with Bettez, Noemie Marin and rookies Leslie Oles and Katia Clement-Heydra.
Les Canadiennes may not have the depth of Calgary when it comes to National team members, but it's players like Blais who contribute and don't look out of place among the game's best.
In fact, Blais might even benefit from being in a secondary scoring role. With Poulin likely to get the other team's top defenders, Blais on a separate line will be going up against other players and possibly have more scoring opportunities.