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2017 NHL Draft prospect profile: Maxime Comtois is an intriguing power forward prospect

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The homegrown prospect is expected to be taken in the first round

Victoriaville Tigres v Quebec Remparts Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

Maxime Comtois was the third pick in the QMJHL Draft in 2015, and he was always seen as a future NHL prospect, but has seen his stock drop with a subpar season this year.

Comtois played in more games in his second year, but had less production in every offensive category. That’s not the way to make your case to NHL scouts. The scouting services are higher on him than NHL Central Scouting, but he should still be selected in the first round.

Place of Birth: Longueuil, Quebec
Shoots: Left
Position: Left Wing
Height: 6’1" Weight: 201 lbs

EliteProspects.com

Comtois will not wow you with skills. He’s a power forward who excels by playing an all around game.

He’s a bigger body, and he lives in front of the net. His shot totals from high danger areas are among the best draft eligible players in the QMJHL this year, and as you can see from the two past years, he is consistently close to the opposing goaltender, something that should bode well for him going to the next level.

ProspectStats.com

Comtois is not only a scorer, and gets rave reviews for his play at both ends of the ice. He can play on the penalty kill, and has a dangerous combination of speed and strength. His path to an NHL career don’t rely on his offensive numbers alone, which is probably a good thing given his struggles this year.

He had a very good Ivan Hlinka tournament with four goals and an assist in four games for Canada, but that momentum didn’t carry over to his season where he had 22 goals and 29 assists in 64 games down from 26 goals and 34 assists in 62 games his rookie year.

He had 0.39 primary points per game (15 goals, 10 assists) at 5-on-5, which was eighth among Draft Eligible QMJHL prospects. He was tied for third with eight shots shorthanded (he had one goal) among Draft Eligible prospects. There’s no sugarcoating it: he struggled in what might have been his biggest season.

Scouting

Future Considerations:

“Comtois is a skilled player who drives possession and pace. He loves to carry the play, is a highly effective passer and playmaker. Sets himself apart in the way he excels with quickness, especially in tight areas. Can beat goalies with his hard wrist shot and his great release. Will play physical taking great angles to the puck carrier and finished his checks. Hard back checker who’s a coach’s dream. He put great numbers in his rookie season but he struggled a little bit more this year. However, he is still effective on both sides of the puck and he is a hard worker.”

Rankings (note: these are not all final rankings):

HockeyProspect: 27
ISS: 25
Future Considerations: 24
McKeen’s: N/A
NHL Central Scouting (North American Skaters): 30

Thoughts

Expect to hear a lot about Comtois leading up to the draft, especially as it pertains to the Montreal Canadiens. People love homegrown talent, for better or for worse, and Comtois is not only a homegrown talent, but a power forward who is expected to be around when the Canadiens select in the first round.

He doesn’t project as a first line talent, but that’s why he should be available at the end of the first round, and not among the top selections. Comtois does have the potential to score, and teams who like his offensive abilities will be more likely to take a chance on him.

If he had a great season, or even showed moderate improvement on his rookie year, he would probably be a top-15 prospect, but the fact that Comtois can play at both ends of the ice means he should remain a first round pick as he has multiple qualities he can bring to an NHL roster.

All statistics courtesy Prospect-Stats.com