2020-21 Team: Charlottetown Islanders
Date of Birth: Oct. 11, 2002
Place of Birth: Vareness, QC, Canada
Ht: 6-foot Wt: 190 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 68th (amongst NA skaters)
- Bob McKenzie’s Rankings: 83rd
- Draft Prospects Hockey Spring Rankings: 97th
- Zator’s Top 100 April Rankings: Unranked
- Baracchini’s Top 100 March Rankings: Unranked
- Forbes’ Top 128 for May: Unranked
William Trudeau was drafted by the Drummondville Voltiguers in the 11th round of the 2018 Québec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) Draft. He was dealt by Drummondville in December of 2018 in exchange for former NHL first-round pick, Pierre-Olivier Joseph. Throughout his first campaign with the Islanders’ Trudeau put up a mediocre 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 58 games.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
The QMJHL was fortunate enough to be one of just a handful of North American junior leagues to begin a regular season back in the fall of 2020. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the season came to a halt once again in November. In January of 2021, the Charlottetown Islanders and the rest of the QMJHL clubs were once again granted access to return to the ice. Prior to the stoppage of play, Trudeau was off to a terrific start with nine points in 10 games and had begun to turn heads.
Trudeau’s hot start helped accelerate his game even more; when the Islanders returned to play in January he was ready to fire on all cylinders. He finished the season with an impressive 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 40 games and finished ninth among all QMJHL defencemen in total points. He understands his position on the ice very well, he is a quick, calm, and mobile defenceman who rarely gives up his defensive responsibilities. He plays in all situations, his mental toughness is at a level that allows him to not crack under pressure. Whether it be a close-game situation or needing a man on special teams, expect Trudeau to be on the ice.
While Trudeau’s game continues to mature, one thing to keep an eye on is his offensive capabilities. He has continued to improve over the last couple of seasons and that is not going to slow down. His passing is fluent and he uses his high hockey IQ to make offensive plays and create rushes while avoiding turnovers. He is able to get up into the action and use his plethora of skills to make a move and help get his team on the scoreboard.
All in all, Trudeau is a work in progress but has all the right tools to become a legitimate NHL defender. The Islanders are currently in the middle of a playoff run where he has two points in eight games played so far. Come next season, I would expect him to play an even more crucial role with the team as his development continues.
Other THW Draft Profiles
William Trudeau – NHL Draft Projection
While Trudeau is ranked by the NHL Central Scouting as a “C” prospect he will be taken between the second and third rounds. Given Trudeau’s improvement and work ethic, expect him to be an early third-rounder.
“Trudeau’s reads and step-ups often lead to opposing turnovers or bogging down an opponent’s rush. He remains calm when the play does breaks down or when facing a hard forecheck. In-game moments during critical times do not seem to overwhelm him and he uses his plethora of skills to make positive plays from nothing. He is not overly physical but will throw a check on occasion and use his frame to protect the front of the net. Trudeau may have been a late-round QMJHL draft pick but he has all the making of becoming an asset to any NHL franchise.” – Danny McGillicuddy, The Draft Analyst
“Trudeau is a puck-rushing defensemen who radiated confidence carrying the puck in transition and stepping up on the cycle. He enjoyed facing obstacles on breakouts, which challenged his skating abilities and poise. His decent 2-3 steps acceleration and slick mitts often allowed him to jump ahead of forecheckers and escape pressure rapidly.” – Andy Lehoux, FCHockey
- Hockey IQ
- Defensive awareness
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
Trudeau has all the attributes to become a top-six defenceman in the NHL. As mentioned above, he is a work in progress, but with his work ethic, he has the full potential to pan out into an NHL defender. If he can continue to develop at the rate he is going, I have no doubts that he will be on an NHL roster in the next five years.
Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 5/10, Defence – 7/10