William Rousseau – 2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

William Rousseau

2021-22 Team: Québec Remparts (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: January 9, 2003
Place of Birth: Trois-Rivières, QC, CAN
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 183 pounds
Catches: L
Position: G
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 second-year eligible

Rankings

William Rousseau might just have one of the hardest jobs in the juniors. Not only is he a goaltender playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), but he’s also sharing starting duties with Fabio Iacobo. To make matters worse, the guy they’re both trying to impress in order to receive more starts is Patrick Roy. While his numbers prior to joining the Québec Remparts were impressive, nothing has come easy for Rousseau since. Dating back to the 2016-17 season as a Midget-level goaltender, he put up big numbers statistically, keeping his goals-against average at under two, and his save percentage never dipped lower than .924. He put on a clinic in his years leading up to the season with the Trois-Rivières Estacades, and his stellar play earned him a fifth-round selection in the QMJHL Draft in 2019.

Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide

Positionally, Rousseau leaves very little to improve upon. Upon the puck coming out into the slot area, or a player carrying the puck into it, he skates to the top of the crease and squares off to the shooter, keeping his chest out and aligned with where the puck is. While he’s not the quickest on his feet, he backs up into the net fast enough to be able to make the first save with relative ease. His rebound control is excellent, as pucks often get sucked into his equipment with no room to give up secondary chances. He’s calm under pressure and moves pucks around even with opposing players coming close to him, and he is good at placing his defenseman in a good position to break out of the zone effectively.

Rousseau has the tendency to stick to the lower parts of the net, often going to his knees as opposing players circle in back of the net. As mentioned, he’s not the most agile on his feet, so pucks bouncing into the slot can cause concern when he’s caught in his butterfly position. His competitive nature makes up for that, however, as Rousseau battles for every loose puck in the crease area and is capable of both tracking pucks to freeze the play or to move the puck into corners where he knows his defense can track it and move the puck out of danger.

William Rousseau Quebec Remparts
William Rousseau, Quebec Remparts (Jonathan Roy / Quebec Remparts)

One great area of concern is his lateral movement, which is one of his two biggest weaknesses. Several times throughout the season, he’s been tested on moving from right to left as opposing teams set up cross-ice plays. He tends to stay low for a goaltender who is 6-feet-1 and is often caught sprawling a little too far outside of his crease, leaving the top half of the net wide open to shoot at. Whether it’s 2-on-1 chances or teams with better offensive players working a power play, Rousseau has great difficulty dealing with his lateral movement issues and it’s something that has remained problematic for two seasons.

His glove hand is frightening how little it’s been improved on since the 2020-21 season. On many occasions this season, Rousseau has been beat on the glove side by shots that goaltenders normally have no issue dealing with, especially those who play the type of style he plays. His reaction time is below-average as well, and paired with him dropping low too quickly or hunching over while standing, he makes himself appear smaller than his true height. While he’s positionally good, his bottom-net prioritization leaves his glove and blocker side fully exposed.

Other THW Draft Profiles

William Rousseau – NHL Draft Projection

As a 19-year-old goaltender entering his second year of eligibility, it’s going to be tough to see him go anywhere before the sixth or seventh round. Rousseau is currently sharing the crease this year for the Remparts, splitting games with Fabio Iacobo, which will ultimately affect his draft stock. His best bet may be to sign a try-out with a team post-draft.

Quotables

“During the 2020-21 season, in the company of Remparts goaltending coach Pascal Lizotte, Rousseau worked hard in his progression of technical ability. Not too far away behind on the ice or behind the bench was one of the most cerebral goaltenders in history, his head coach Patrick Roy, to give him the motivation he needed.”- Matthew Vachon, Le Soleil

“As the Remparts continue to climb the ranks of the QMJHL standings, Rousseau has proven himself as a solid goaltender and last line of defense for his team. His three-game winning streak in December is his first of his career and he is in the middle of experiencing a remarkable season, giving his team his best performance of the year in the month of December, earning him Goaltender of the Month.”- Will MacLaren, QMJHL

Strengths

  • Good positioning
  • Rebound control
  • Positioning

Under Construction- Improvements to Make

  • Lateral movement
  • Glove hand
  • Appears smaller than he really is

NHL Potential

Entering his second year of eligibility, Rousseau has the current potential to be a fringe American Hockey League goaltender with the likelihood of his ceiling being an ECHL starter. Due to him sharing the crease with the Québec Remparts as a 19-year-old, it’s tough to calculate his odds of doing much beyond the junior level when he has difficulty keeping up in the QMJHL.

Risk- Reward Analysis

Risk- 3/5, Reward 3/5

Awards/ Achievements

In 2018-19, Rousseau won the CWG Championship as a member of Team Québec. He also won a silver medal at the QGC-16 as a member of Team Québec White.

William Rousseau Statistics

Videos


Sign up for our regular 'Prospects Newsletter' for all the latest.