Nathan Légaré – 2019 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Nathan Légaré

2018-19 Team: Baie-Comeau Drakkar (#29)
Date of Birth: January 11, 2001
Place of Birth: Montreal, QC
Ht: 6 foot Wt: 205 pounds
Position: RW
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible

Rankings

Nathan Légaré was drafted 6th overall in the 2017 QMJHL Draft by the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. He finished his first full season as a rookie in 2017-18 with a modest 10 goals and 19 assists in 62 games. The 2018-19 campaign was a breakout season for Légaré as he finished second in team scoring with 45 goals and 42 assists in 68 games and managed to record an impressive plus-37 rating.

Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2019 Edition

Légaré’s 45 goals ranked second in the QMJHL, close behind the Halifax Mooseheads’ Samuel Asselin who notched a league-leading 48. His 87 points were good for 8th overall in the league’s regular season scoring.

Nathan Legare
Baie Comeau Drakkar’s Nathan Légaré (Courtesy of Denis Thibault)

Légaré played an important role in the success of the Drakkar this season, ranked 4th overall in the QMJHL standings with 102 points. He played on one of the most dominant lines in the league with San Jose Sharks prospect Ivan Chekhovich who finished 2nd in league scoring, and Tampa Bay Lightning second-round pick Gabriel Fortier who amassed 83 points, good for 13th.

According to Drakkar head coach Martin Bernard, “Nathan is very business-like. He arrives at the arena every day in a good mood and with a positive attitude, which is reflected in his game.” The coach admits that Légaré adapted well to the reality of junior hockey after his first full season in the QMJHL during the 2017-18 season. “It took a period of adjustment last year to understand the team game plan. He caught the message well, and in this year of the draft, he adjusted and focused very well with the situation.”

Other THW Draft Profiles:

Nathan Légaré – NHL Draft Projection

Légaré is ranked between 33rd and 54th, making him an early-to-late second-rounder. The fact that his team was upset in a seven-game opening round series against the Moncton Wildcats did not help Légaré’s potential to improve his ranking before the NHL Draft.

Légaré possesses exceptional offensive skills, however, he is very dependent on his linemates to generate scoring opportunities. He could be a top-six forward at the NHL level if he is teamed up with elite players that can get him the puck. He could be a valuable player in today’s salary cap world as a cheaper, complimentary winger with scoring ability and very good size.

Quotables

“He is primarily a shooter that does not mind the physical part of the game. I am concerned about him at the professional level if he does not get the opportunity to shoot when the opposition limits his time and space. This became evident in Baie Comeau’s first-round upset loss to Moncton when they limited Légaré’s effectiveness. He needs to improve his overall skating quickness. I suspect he will likely be a late second, or early third round, player because of his style of play.” – Senior NHL QMJHL Scout

“A goal-scorer, Légaré has a nose for the net, putting himself in positions where his teammates can get him the puck. In tight around the net, he has excellent finishing skills, able to manipulate the goalie with his hands and find open twine with a quick, precise, and deceptive shot. His shot is also a threat from further out, not so much as a scoring danger, but his powerful slap shot is an excellent generator of rebounds. Légaré loves to hang around the net and does an excellent job of getting open to receive passes from teammates. He does a good job of getting the puck into a shooting position quickly after receiving it, allowing him to attack the net before the defense can collapse on him.” – Sam Happi/draftgeek.ca

“Légaré is an intense power forward. As soon as the puck drops, the winger immediately flies around the ice with his blasting speed putting incredible pressure on the puck carrier. He is always at 100 percent and his competitiveness is strong. With this intensity, he wins most of his physical battles on the forecheck and in the defensive zone. He protects his puck very well, too, with good upper body strength and strong edges. Légaré has good offensive instincts and can position himself at the right place to get high quality scoring chances. He has a powerful slap shot and some great finishing skills up front. He’s definitely the biggest riser out of the QMJHL to date.” – Andy Lehoux/futureconsiderations.ca

“He has good speed and an excellent wrist shot. Légaré gets up and down the wing quickly, creating opportunities off the rush. He gets to the net and creates havoc in front of the crease. Légaré works hard down low and hits on the forecheck, creating turnovers. He can also play the role of playmaker, with good vision and passing skills. Légaré can work on his physicality and defensive game.” – Ben Kerr/lastwordonhockey.com

Strengths

  • Competitiveness, Intensity, and Size
  • Excellent Shot
  • Finishing Ability
  • Offensive Instincts
  • Relentless Forechecker

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Playmaking Ability
  • Generating Offense On His Own

NHL Potential

Risk – Reward Analysis

Risk – 3/5 | Reward – 4/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence – 8/10 | Defence – 7/10

Awards/Achievements

Légaré has had a busy 2018-19 season. In his second season with the Drakkar, he suited up for all 68 regular season games and seven in the playoffs. In January, he played in the 2019 Sherwin-Williams Top Prospects Game in Red Deer, featuring the top-ranked prospects for this year’s NHL Draft.

Following the Drakkar’s unexpected loss in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs, Légaré was invited to play for Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championships in Sweden. He did not look out of place at the international level scoring four goals in seven games.

Interview/Profile Links

Videos

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YouTube player
Nathan Légaré Interview (John Moore / Sports & Moore)