by Eldon MacDonald (edited by @ChrisRalphTHW)
THW’s NHL Draft War Room Rankings – Apr-14: #39
THW’s NHL Draft Rankings – The Next Ones Edition (aka Chris’s List) #36 (March 2014)
- Hashtag: #LeMonstre
- Team: 3, Baie-Comeau, QMJHL
- Position: Defense
- Shoots: Left
- Height: 6’5
- Weight: 224 lb.
- Born: St. Constant, QC, 20-Dec-95
- Twitter: @AlexisVanier
[Your quintessential draft resource:
- 34 – Bob MacKenzie, Jan-14
- 80 – Craig Button, Mar-14
- 152 – NHL Combined – Final, Apr-14
— Matt Smith (@Snakebite350) May 9, 2014
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) December 10, 2013
- SportsAndMoore.com (video)
Contains All the Prospects Profiled in This Series]
- Quote 1: Ian Esplen at HockeyNow.ca, “Every time that Vanier was on the ice I found it hard not to notice him. For a six-foot-five, 215-pound defenceman, he skates awfully well once he is moving and I’m sure that caught more than a few scouts’ eye. While he needs to improve the quickness in his first step, I felt his skating is still pretty good. Aside from his athletic talents, Vanier also has a great shot, good passing skills and thinks the game very well. Overall, this is one player to watch the rest of the way as he will surely charge up the draft rankings based on these tools alone.”
- Quote 2: Allan Muir atNHL.SI.com, “Biggest surprise of the QMJHL this year … his size and strength are obvious but his offensive game is impressive, despite the point production … his defensive game is OK, too.”
From the War Room
Eldon MacDonald, THW: A few words on Alexis Vanier:
- Le Monstre – 6’5, 224 lb. – A monster on the outside and an ogre on the inside when he wants to be – keep your head up!
- Overwhelming physical presence – Alexis just has that overwhelming physical presence at the back end – the man-child physique at 6’5, the overpowering shot, reminiscent of Sheldon Souray, the willingness to use the mitts, the willingness to be a little bit mean, the willingness to do the monster mash on his opponents. Yes, a physical presence, indeed!
- Improvements to make – Alexis should continue to work on his skating to finalize his preparation for the big leagues – a little more acceleration and a little more speed and, oh my, you have the complete package. Huge guys sometimes take a little longer to mature, Alexis, however, has come a long way this year.
- The injury – Wondering about the decline in production as the year progressed, well, Alexis got injured (shoulder) during the Subway Super Series in November and seemingly never fully recovered. In fact, he had to shut his season down and miss the playoffs due to that injury. Before the injury – 25 games, 24 points; after the injury – 36 games, 12 points.
- Draft placement – NHL scouts will do their homework and decide not to miss out on this behemoth – early to mid second round is the most likely outcome for Alexis. However, in a year where there are so many small players, first round could be more than just a possibility.
- Video 1: TVASports.ca– Two goals and three assists versus The Quebec Remparts
- Video 2: HockeyFights.com– Fight with Owen Bennington of Val d’Or Foreurs
Chris is THW’s senior draft/prospect analyst and a Managing Editor. Watch for “The Next Ones” Prospect Profile series, exclusive rankings, mock drafts, as well as the annual THW NHL Entry Draft Guide. Follow @ChrisRalphYQ on Twitter as he infiltrates, dissects and analyzes all happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft. Email: cralph[at]thehockeywriters[dot]com