I grew up as a right-shooting hockey player and while my skill set is most definitely better suited for what I’m doing now – spoiler: I was tremendously mediocre at everything but skating – I can’t help but feel like I missed out on an opportunity. Because right-shooting players (at any position) are basically unicorns at this point in time and worth their weight in gold.
Frederic Allard of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens is a right-shooting defenseman that’s turned a lot of heads in QMJHL circles this past season. Could he be a good use of one of the Calgary Flames’ three second round selections?
A big leader on a team that has found itself under new coach Yanick
Jean, Allard was named third star of the week in the ‘Q’ thanks to six
assists in three games. The late 1997 birthday is deadly on the power
play and has already doubled his production year over year, with 59
points to date.
Allard has the potential to be a top-four defender in the NHL. His
offensive game is coming along nicely, and his defensive game is showing
signs of improvement. He is showing real signs of improvement and
dedication to learning. If a team has the proper development staff in
place, Allard could be a real high reward type of player. His game is
reminiscent of Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins, however this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent or ability.
tenacious two-way defenceman that has a distinct willingness to do
whatever it takes to keep his team up. Battles hard for puck possession
and has a very good active stick. Not consistent enough to be relied
upon in all situations, especially under high pressure, but is
definitely getting there and his game is rounding out well at an
accelerated pace. Possesses a hard, accurate shot and is creative with
his passes. As such, his primary function as an offensive defenceman is
to be played on the forecheck and in situations where pressure is
sustained. All-in-all, a hard-nosed two-way defenceman that has the raw
tools and the upward-trending tendencies that point to a positive
Overall, Allard is second (behind Samuel Girard) in the QMJHL for primary points among draft-eligible defensemen. He was just five behind Girard in that respect, but he did trail by a lot in secondary assists. (Girard had 32, Allard had just 22.)
When we look at even strength production, it’ll become apparent that Allard is really dependent on the power-play for production. In terms of even-strength primary points, both Saint John’s Luke Green (22) and Girard (16) were ahead of Allard, who had just 10 primary points at even strength.
The good thing about Allard, though? He shoots quite a bit, and from all over the place. (Heat map via Prospect-Stats.)
(For comparison’s sake, Girard had 87 shots and Green had 141.)
It’s hard to tell if he gets his head kicked in at even strength or not, as most defenders don’t get a ton of primary points at even strength. But his power-play production and the amount that he shoots the puck are both really nice indicators that there’s something there with him offensively.
Right-handed shooting defenders that can help run a power-play don’t exactly grow on trees.
FIT WITH THE FLAMES
Last year, the Flames drafted right-handed Rasmus Andersson in the second round. He’ll be in the AHL next season. If you want to force players into “boxes,” Allard is basically a French-Canadian version of Andersson. He’s right-handed and relies on the power-play for his offense (and he shoots a TON, which Andersson also does).
Allard is also a December birthday, so he could turn pro after one more year in the QMJHL (ala Emile Poirier and Hunter Shinkaruk), and that gives the Flames a bit of additional flexibility in terms of his development.
He’s also able to grow a rad mustache, which should immediately endear him to Flames fans.
SUM IT UP
Allard is a pretty good defender with some really good offensive upside. He’d be a huge asset for a club’s power-play, and his right-shot will be a hot commodity on draft day. He’d be a great fit for the Flames.
Previous draft targets: Alexander Nylander | Pierre-Luc Dubois | Matthew Tkachuk | Jakob Chychrun | Olli Juolevi | Clayton Keller | Alex DeBrincat | Sam Steel | Vitalii Abramov | Jake Bean | Tyson Jost | Mikhail Sergachev | Tyler Benson | Griffin Luce | Logan Brown | Samuel Girard | Will Bitten | Cliff Pu | Taylor Raddysh | Adam Mascherin | Carter Hart | Jordan Kyrou | Cam Morrison | Cam Dineen | Matthew Phillips | Carsen Twarynski | Sean Day | Tage Thompson