The 2014 Flames Fifteen - #5: Émile Poirier

Justin Azevedo
June 17 2014 01:00PM

172010081_slide

Via the NHL

Like a couple of other prospects in the Flames' stable, QMJHL dynamo Émile Poirier's biggest asset is his speed - and holy cow can this kid burn. Like Kenny Agostino, Poirier's main draw is those fast feet. Unlike Kenny Agostino, though, Poirier's offensive ceiling seems to be pretty freaking high.

2013's second first rounder (22nd overall) comes in at 5th in his first appearance on the Flames Fifteen.

Okay, so the speed - Poirier is a little odd in that when I've seen him play his stride looks very inefficient. It's pretty counter-intuitive, but often if a player has to continually move his feet quickly to maintain speed, he's not actually doing a good job of propelling himself forward. There's a lot of possible reasons why someone might do this (too much side-to-side motion, not enough knee bend, skating too bent over), but there's really only one possible result: the player isn't generating enough push from the ice on a stride-to-stride basis in a way that will allow them to maintain top speed efficiently. 

  Justin Kent Ryan BoL Byron Taylor Christian 2013 2012
Émile Poirier 4 8 5 5 5 6 4 N/D N/D

This means the amount of energy he puts into the action isn't worth the amount of energy he's getting out; think about how a car's pistons generally rotate 2000 times per minute on the highway. Even though you were redlining it while merging (yeah, I know you, FlamesNation reader), you're still going at the same speed now, at considerably less RPMs. Every time a skate hits the ice during acceleration, that should be a shift in gear (substitute something like momentum for mechanics). Often, when you think of the best skaters in the league, guys like Hall, Duchene, Bouwmeester, Crosby and Sharp are near the tops of the list. These guys take three to five gear changes when starting and then they maintain top speed. Poirier seems like he never gets out of the first gear.

This wasted, inefficient movement becomes an issue later in games, when the amount of energy you have to draw upon is dwindling: players who are inefficient with their movement are not going to be able to play as many minutes effectively because of the wasted energy when compared to their more efficient teammates and opponents (assuming most NHLers are of the same sort of fitness level).

Okay, now that I've written all of that out - here's why I don't think it's going to matter.

Most players who have to resort to the "first gear" skating aren't able to get to the top speed that Poirier does, and as a result, have to "overskate" in order to reach a puck first. Poirier does that, but in like half of the time. Because of that, he's overextending himself less over a period of time as he arrives to points a, b, c and d faster. I don't know how that's going to rate when he starts to lose his speed, but for the next decade and a bit let's hope it's enough to make him a first liner. I think it is, but it's hard to tell when you've only seen him against QMJHL players.

  Power Play Points Secondary Assists Team Scoring
Émile Poirier 25% (22/87) 36% (16/44) 37% (87/235)

Good thing that his scoring pace more than makes up for any worries I may have down the road. Poirier scored at a really good pace and had a monstrous EV/PP split in his draft year - we liked the pick right away. All he did this year was jump his NHLE 7 points (27 to 34), increase the amount of shots per game he generated (2.9, already good, to 3.4, which is very good) and play in all situations for Gatineau, tallying 8 shorties this year. 

Poirier basically improved all of his splits except for the EV/PP one, but 75% isn't exactly quibble-worthy. His SH% might seem a little high, but it increased by about the same amount each of his three years and he was producing more shots year-to-year so I think that's more his skill outpacing the QMJHL-level goalies. The astute reader will notice that he and Kilmchuk's SA% and TS% were identical (Poirier was superior in total NHLE and PP/EV).

Conclusion

Of course, the biggest downer is that Poirier is currently injured: he had shoulder surgery a week and a bit ago and is probably going to be out until late November. His contract will probably be assigned to Adirondack as a result of this: but the good news (for the organization) is that it'll continue to slide if he's on the AHL roster. I don't think it's a huge deal going forward, as he'll be given the proper amount of time to heal and he played with the injury all season, according to Burke.

I think the offensive prowess Poirier has shown in his time in the QMJHL is the primary reason he's ranked here, and he's scoring in a way that I think is relatively sustainable in the long run. If he really is as fast as he seems he is, I have no problem with projecting him as a potential first-liner down the road.

A9d138d0e612f28cd46f9b7057ed715d
Justin is a 23-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
Avatar
#52 ChinookArch
June 17 2014, 10:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
8
props

It's hard not to like fast hockey players. Sean Donavan was exciting just because he could break free. He drove me nuts because he was the cause of more off side calls than anyone else I can think of in a Flames jersey, but still he could bring fans to their feet. Lombardi was exciting for the same reason, even if he missed the net on 2/3 of his break-always.

The thing about Poirier is that he might be a game-breaker that drives other teams crazy. We haven't had a guy like that since Ville Niemenen. I just hope Poirier is a much better player than Ville, and just as aggregating to the opposition.

Avatar
#53 DragonFlame
June 17 2014, 10:14PM
Trash it!
19
trashes
Props
0
props

@TheCalgaryJames

Go head and disagree . . . just show me WHY JayBo is so much better than I think he is.

Avatar
#54 DragonFlame
June 17 2014, 10:40PM
Trash it!
19
trashes
Props
2
props

The bottom line is this: either Jay Bouwmeester has been the unluckiest SOB to ever play the game or his leadership skills come into question. Again, I ask, name me one d-man you all can name who has played 12 games in the post season after eleven years in the NHL who has got the kind of dog-on-a-leg humping accolades that JayBo has.

Avatar
#55 TheCalgaryJames
June 17 2014, 10:42PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
12
props

@DragonFlame

I'm disagreeing mainly with your comment on the Olympics. You said they were essentially an "exhibition game." That's a rediculous position to take.

But since you asked all you have to do is look at Bouwmeester's usage in St. Louis to see you're completely exaggerating. Check it out: http://www.extraskater.com/team/st-louis-blues/2013#player-usage-chart

Bouwmeester manned the blue line of perhaps the most dominant blue line in the history of international hockey. He was in the top 6 on that team. That's elite. His numbers prove it even if St. Louis (the ENTIRE team) has under performed. He wasn't worth the money in Calgary but he's a top d man in the NHL.

Avatar
#56 DragonFlame
June 17 2014, 10:51PM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Props
0
props

@TheCalgaryJames

I will only argue this:

Good teams make for good stats.

How would Bouwmeester's stats look if the Flames hadn't decided to get rid of a perennial loser?

More importantly, how would the Flames have fared?

Avatar
#57 CTibs
June 17 2014, 11:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

I had the opportunity to go to a Phoenix game vs. Gatineau, but passed it up to go and study. I missed this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REoHMfONeQU

Avatar
#58 KetchupKid
June 17 2014, 11:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
10
props
DragonFlame wrote:

I will only argue this:

Good teams make for good stats.

How would Bouwmeester's stats look if the Flames hadn't decided to get rid of a perennial loser?

More importantly, how would the Flames have fared?

We'd be drafting at 6th or 7th.

Avatar
#59 EugeneV
June 18 2014, 02:21AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Props
2
props
Jakester wrote:

Yeah, duchene and hall are hella fast. Those kids are lightning quick. Hall is more down low and has the wider stride and I would say duchenes is a little smoother. But I see that type of speed in Poirier.

Duchene's speed does more for me than the SI swimsuit models!

Avatar
#60 EugeneV
June 18 2014, 02:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Lordmork wrote:

On a different note, assuming the remaining four prospects are Gaudreau, Monahan, Granlund and Baertschi, I'm surprised Corban Knight didn't rank at all. I know we were probably too high on him as a lock for a top-6 role, but he still seems less of a long shot than some of the guys who've ranked. Or did I miss him somehow?

Monahan is not considered a prospect, so won't be ranked?

Avatar
#61 aflame13
June 18 2014, 04:18AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
18
props

DragonFlame kinda feels like the second coming of WW

Avatar
#62 Walter White
June 18 2014, 05:56AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
30
props
aflame13 wrote:

DragonFlame kinda feels like the second coming of WW

Personal attacks like this will get you banned from FN.....and let me tell you, getting banned is no picnic son. Smarten up!!!

WW

Avatar
#63 Kenta
June 18 2014, 06:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
10
props
EugeneV wrote:

Duchene's speed does more for me than the SI swimsuit models!

You need to get out more often.

Avatar
#64 wot96
June 18 2014, 06:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
10
props

On a completely off topic note, that does not involve Jay Bo, Ferland was acquitted.

We were forgetting (or just not mentioning) that had he been convicted, having an AHL or NHL career almost regardless of talent would have been immeasurably more difficult.

Good for him.

Avatar
#65 JayD54
June 18 2014, 07:00AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
15
props

The selection of Poirier was initially met with a lot of scorn given that local boy Hunter Shinkaruk was still on the board when the call was made.

And I will admit to being one of those skeptics about the pick, wondering why the local scoring wunderkind (Shinkaruk) got overlooked and allowed to be plucked by 'that' team on the west coast.

And then I had the opportunity to see this kid at the prospects camp. Then the 2013-14 QMJHL season began and the points and You Tube worthy plays started to accumulate. His speed, his touch around the net and the fact that he plays with an edge will fit very nicely. He appears to have the tools necessary to make it.

I do hope that the surgery truly corrected whatever was wrong with his shoulder and that he has the time to heal before he returns to action.

I now think that this was a great selection by the Flames.

Avatar
#66 suba steve
June 18 2014, 07:39AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
17
props
JayD54 wrote:

The selection of Poirier was initially met with a lot of scorn given that local boy Hunter Shinkaruk was still on the board when the call was made.

And I will admit to being one of those skeptics about the pick, wondering why the local scoring wunderkind (Shinkaruk) got overlooked and allowed to be plucked by 'that' team on the west coast.

And then I had the opportunity to see this kid at the prospects camp. Then the 2013-14 QMJHL season began and the points and You Tube worthy plays started to accumulate. His speed, his touch around the net and the fact that he plays with an edge will fit very nicely. He appears to have the tools necessary to make it.

I do hope that the surgery truly corrected whatever was wrong with his shoulder and that he has the time to heal before he returns to action.

I now think that this was a great selection by the Flames.

And this is why all of our opinions on who the Flames need to be looking at on draft day...mean absolutely nothing. They have actually seen these kids play, interviewed the kids, spoken to the coaches, reviewed the fitness data, etc. Complaining about a selection five minutes after it is made is not reasonable.

Their best guess is good enough for me. They can't possibly be right 100% of the time, but they are working with the best info. available at this time. I wish them good luck.

Avatar
#67 aflame13
June 18 2014, 08:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

@WW

lol yer funny

Avatar
#68 Parallex
June 18 2014, 08:38AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
16
props
Lordmork wrote:

I guess some people are really passionate about Jay Bouwmeester.

I don't think Jay Bouwmeester is passionate about Jay Bouwmeester.

That's not a slight on Bouwmeester just a comment on his oddly subdued personality.

Avatar
#69 Matt
June 18 2014, 09:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
20
props

Regarding the Ferland acquittal, I know the guy he knocked out. Total ass... not surprised the courts did not charge Ferland for assault.

Avatar
#70 FeyWest
June 18 2014, 11:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
5
props

@suba steve

At the time his name was called I was shocked as it seemed out of left field. I immediately hit the net to try and get info on him because I hadn't heard of him til he was picked.

I was actually really excited about him after doing some research; Checked out both guys and actually preferred Poirier and still do.

Unfortunately I just started posting on forums this year so I don't really have anything to back myself up :/ but I trust the scouts and guys who watch the kids more.

Avatar
#71 Stubblejumper
June 18 2014, 11:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@coachedpotatoe

Agree getting a top RW like Ritchie (or Virtanen or Tuch) in addition to #4 pick would be great but might be a little optimistic as he will likely be selected in the top 10 and I can't see the teams at #6 thru #10 (VAN, CAR, TOR, WPG, ANA) doing a deal for what the Flames are willing/able to offer in return.

However the Flames may have some success in adding another 1st round pick in the #11-#22 area by offering up a roster player, decent mid-tier prospect and a 2nd or 3rd rounder. Would be great if they were able to make this happen!

Avatar
#72 gotommygo
June 18 2014, 11:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
8
props

@suba steve

'And this is why all of our opinions on who the Flames need to be looking at on draft day...mean absolutely nothing.'

This. I was sincerely hoping he didn't read any of those comments the day he was drafted. Welcome to Calgary, Emile, you suck because we've never heard of you.

Avatar
#73 Stubblejumper
June 18 2014, 11:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Depth at RW still lacks depth and scoring punch...although most fist punches will likely be launched from the right side.

Excluding vet forwards (GlenX, Hudler, Stajan, DJones, Cammy, TJG) the Flames have the following:

Poirier(LH), Ferland, McGrattan, Westgarth(RFA), Bouma(LH)

Not exactly an awe-inspiring cup-contending line-up on the right side. Other potential RW candidates converted from Centre or LW include:

Arnold, Knight, VanBrabant, Wolf, Agostino, Reinhart

If we fast forward to Mar15 after Poirier recovers, some vets are traded and several prospects have gotten some AHL and NHL time in, likely the best potential line-up in March would see:

Poirier, Ferland, Arnold, VanBrabant/Wolf with honourable mention to Bouma, Reinhart, Knight depending on injuries and C/LW line-up.

Avatar
#74 piscera.infada
June 18 2014, 12:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
8
props
Stubblejumper wrote:

Agree getting a top RW like Ritchie (or Virtanen or Tuch) in addition to #4 pick would be great but might be a little optimistic as he will likely be selected in the top 10 and I can't see the teams at #6 thru #10 (VAN, CAR, TOR, WPG, ANA) doing a deal for what the Flames are willing/able to offer in return.

However the Flames may have some success in adding another 1st round pick in the #11-#22 area by offering up a roster player, decent mid-tier prospect and a 2nd or 3rd rounder. Would be great if they were able to make this happen!

There's a rumour out there that Nashville is looking to trade #11 for an established top-6 forward. This could be doable. Although, there was no mention as to what age-range they were looking at. Oddly, based on last year's statistics, Hudler would have been second in team scoring (2 pts behind Weber) and the highest scoring forward on the team (1 point more than Hornqvist).

Avatar
#75 stubblejumper
June 18 2014, 12:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
11
props
piscera.infada wrote:

There's a rumour out there that Nashville is looking to trade #11 for an established top-6 forward. This could be doable. Although, there was no mention as to what age-range they were looking at. Oddly, based on last year's statistics, Hudler would have been second in team scoring (2 pts behind Weber) and the highest scoring forward on the team (1 point more than Hornqvist).

re Hudler for Nashville #11 pick as the core of a deal...I'd certainly support Treliving to do the deal.

Avatar
#76 piscera.infada
June 18 2014, 12:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props
stubblejumper wrote:

re Hudler for Nashville #11 pick as the core of a deal...I'd certainly support Treliving to do the deal.

Odd, because the cost doesn't seem all that high for a #11 overall (the rumour was also confirmed by a reporter on the Fan 960 yesterday afternoon). If you're Treliving you better be on the phone to Poile every day.

Avatar
#77 seve927
June 18 2014, 12:48PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
9
props
piscera.infada wrote:

There's a rumour out there that Nashville is looking to trade #11 for an established top-6 forward. This could be doable. Although, there was no mention as to what age-range they were looking at. Oddly, based on last year's statistics, Hudler would have been second in team scoring (2 pts behind Weber) and the highest scoring forward on the team (1 point more than Hornqvist).

Exactly what popped into my mind. If Fleury were still available there, I think I'd do that deal. Actually, regardless, a #11 pick is worth more to us right now than Hudler I think.

Avatar
#78 piscera.infada
June 18 2014, 12:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props

@seve927

Totally. The way I see the draft going you're also in Virtanen territory, or even Ritchie if you're Burke (I'd rather not, but that's just me).

Avatar
#79 Stubblejumper
June 18 2014, 01:05PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
9
props
piscera.infada wrote:

Totally. The way I see the draft going you're also in Virtanen territory, or even Ritchie if you're Burke (I'd rather not, but that's just me).

Hudler for one of Fleury/Virtanen/Ritchie/Tuch..where do we sign?

Avatar
#80 gotommygo
June 18 2014, 01:23PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
5
props

Yeah, I like Hudler as much as the next guy, but having another early first round pick .... like you said, Stubblejumper, where do we sign?

Avatar
#81 suba steve
June 18 2014, 01:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props

@gotommygo

That deal would be a no brainer. As in, Nash management don't have a single functioning brain amongst them if they pull the trigger on that, as a one-for-one deal.

Avatar
#82 coachedpotatoe
June 18 2014, 02:35PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Props
0
props
stubblejumper wrote:

re Hudler for Nashville #11 pick as the core of a deal...I'd certainly support Treliving to do the deal.

Well another trade rumor and a perfect time for me to apologize to BT and all his followers; it was great to seem deny the rumor out of Ottawa.

I can't imagine that Nashville would do a 1 for 1 deal, I suspect it would need to be more like this Hudler plus one of Sven, Granlund, Agostino and our second. Would people be willing to pay this price?

Avatar
#83 Kevin R
June 18 2014, 02:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
5
props
suba steve wrote:

That deal would be a no brainer. As in, Nash management don't have a single functioning brain amongst them if they pull the trigger on that, as a one-for-one deal.

shhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Avatar
#84 Kevin R
June 18 2014, 02:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
coachedpotatoe wrote:

Well another trade rumor and a perfect time for me to apologize to BT and all his followers; it was great to seem deny the rumor out of Ottawa.

I can't imagine that Nashville would do a 1 for 1 deal, I suspect it would need to be more like this Hudler plus one of Sven, Granlund, Agostino and our second. Would people be willing to pay this price?

No. If we can get 3 x that for our 4th I would say take it & run!! They may as well pick their player. At some point, both teams need to be happy with the deal.

Avatar
#85 Baalzamon
June 18 2014, 03:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@coachedpotatoe

http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/06/17/calgary-flames-gm-takes-issue-with-recent-trade-speculation

I suspect it wouldn't be the first time Garrioch made up something random for hits...

Avatar
#86 SmellOfVictory
June 18 2014, 04:50PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
8
props
coachedpotatoe wrote:

Well another trade rumor and a perfect time for me to apologize to BT and all his followers; it was great to seem deny the rumor out of Ottawa.

I can't imagine that Nashville would do a 1 for 1 deal, I suspect it would need to be more like this Hudler plus one of Sven, Granlund, Agostino and our second. Would people be willing to pay this price?

Where do you get that idea?

Sven was a 13th overall pick only three years ago. You think it would require that, PLUS an established top 6 forward, PLUS a 2nd round pick? Noooo.

Honestly, it's a question of priorities. Nashville seems to want to be competitive now, and that means trading for established NHLers. A top 6 forward is easily worth the 11th overall pick in a draft like this. Guys like Virtanen, Ritchie, and Fleury are all good potential guys, but none of them is likely to be much better (if at all) than Hudler when all is said and done. Hudler for 11th would not be a fleecing, as people have been saying; I think it would be a good deal for Calgary, but also not far off his actual value as a top 6 forward on a reasonable contract.

Avatar
#87 coachedpotatoe
June 18 2014, 05:06PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
2
props
SmellOfVictory wrote:

Where do you get that idea?

Sven was a 13th overall pick only three years ago. You think it would require that, PLUS an established top 6 forward, PLUS a 2nd round pick? Noooo.

Honestly, it's a question of priorities. Nashville seems to want to be competitive now, and that means trading for established NHLers. A top 6 forward is easily worth the 11th overall pick in a draft like this. Guys like Virtanen, Ritchie, and Fleury are all good potential guys, but none of them is likely to be much better (if at all) than Hudler when all is said and done. Hudler for 11th would not be a fleecing, as people have been saying; I think it would be a good deal for Calgary, but also not far off his actual value as a top 6 forward on a reasonable contract.

I won't disagree with you but I'm thinking Nashville will be fielding other offers and they may include a higher end top 6 to get the 11th pick. Therefore the Flames would have to up the anti. Personally I was floating an idea not what I would give for the pick. Hudler and the pick we got from Colorado is probably as high as I would go.

Avatar
#88 DragonFlame
June 18 2014, 05:24PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Props
0
props
Walter White wrote:

Personal attacks like this will get you banned from FN.....and let me tell you, getting banned is no picnic son. Smarten up!!!

WW

Ah, that wasn't even close to being a personal attack by aflame13, Walter

Avatar
#89 coachedpotatoe
June 18 2014, 08:18PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props
Lordmork wrote:

On a different note, assuming the remaining four prospects are Gaudreau, Monahan, Granlund and Baertschi, I'm surprised Corban Knight didn't rank at all. I know we were probably too high on him as a lock for a top-6 role, but he still seems less of a long shot than some of the guys who've ranked. Or did I miss him somehow?

I went back to first post on this series and they said they were looking at the 23 year olds and younger and the excluded Ferland and Sieloff because of injury. At no time did they say they would exclude Monahan, Here's the list: 15: Culkin 14; Janko 13; Agostino 12; Kulak 11;Wspoon 10: Rhino 9: Ortio 8: Klimchuk 7: Arnold 6: Gilles 5: Poirier :my guesses 4:Sven 3; Granlund 2: Johhny 1; Monahan

How old is Knight? if he's over 23 he's excluded, if he's not then he is 4th and Monahan is not listed.

Avatar
#90 coachedpotatoe
June 18 2014, 08:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
coachedpotatoe wrote:

I went back to first post on this series and they said they were looking at the 23 year olds and younger and the excluded Ferland and Sieloff because of injury. At no time did they say they would exclude Monahan, Here's the list: 15: Culkin 14; Janko 13; Agostino 12; Kulak 11;Wspoon 10: Rhino 9: Ortio 8: Klimchuk 7: Arnold 6: Gilles 5: Poirier :my guesses 4:Sven 3; Granlund 2: Johhny 1; Monahan

How old is Knight? if he's over 23 he's excluded, if he's not then he is 4th and Monahan is not listed.

Repling to my own question Knight is already 23 and therefore I suspect excluded. Based upon his season he IMO would have been ranked ahead of Janko, Agostino as forwards.

Comments are closed for this article.