The Vancouver Canucks have selected left winger Emile Poirier from the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques with the 24th overall pick in the 2013 Fansided NHL Mock Draft.
The team’s prospect cupboard is hardly stocked full. The desire to win has led to a number of traded draft picks over the last few seasons. This past trade deadline, the Canucks traded away a second round pick and defenceman Kevin Connauton to acquire Derek Roy. They traded a pair of fourth round picks for Samuel Pahlsson last season. Three third round picks have been traded since 2010 to acquire Andrew Alberts, Maxim Lapierre, and Chris Higgins.
Despite the lack of picks, the Canucks have managed to build up organizational depth in goal and on defence with the likes of Chris Tanev, Frank Corrado, Peter Andersson, Eddie Lack, and Joacim Eriksson. Up front, the Canucks have players with solid NHL potential at centre (Jordan Schroeder, Brendan Gaunce) and right wing (Nicklas Jensen), but the main area of concern is at left wing where their top prospect might be Darren Archibald. That’s why the Canucks will be selecting Poirier in the mock draft.
Poirier just completed his second season with the Olympiques putting up 35 goals and 70 points in 65 games to lead his team. He added ten points in ten games in the playoffs.
Standing at 6’1″ and weighing in at 183 pounds, Poirier is projected to be a two-way, all-around forward. He is a shotblocker and a player that is developing a physical side leading some to believe he could develop into a power forward. He fits into the mold of a player that Canucks general manager Mike Gillis likes—players that can play at both ends of the rink. The physical side will be a nice addition to the organization.
Though he has an awkward skating stride, Poirier has had his share of breakaway goals thanks to his quick reaction and pick-up speed. His ability to walk around defensemen with balance and ease creates offensive chances, and with his quick puck-handling skills and breakout speed, Poirier is a player that defensemen can’t leave alone in the zone.
Poirier plays a great two-way game, willing to back-check and pressure the attacking forwards relentlessly. His vision allows him to disrupt passing lanes, creating the occasional odd-man breaks and scoring chances for his teammates. Poirier is also known to drop the gloves to defend and energize his teammates, which is something you just can’t teach.
Because of his excellent shot blocking skills, Poirier will be an asset to the penalty kill unit if drafted by the Blue Jackets (or any NHL club, for that matter). Poirier has the potential to be a two-way, second line winger if he continues to develop his physical game and offensive presence.
He was Gatineau’s best forward in most of our viewings and never stopped going up in our monthly rankings as the season progressed. Émile Poirier has amazed us with his speed and especially the second gear he showed, scoring multiple goals and creating chances going wide on defensemen. He is very deceptive and will create space for himself.
A speedy offensive forward, Poirier improved steadily in his draft year. He’s got great hands, an accurate shot and can make plays at top speed, leading to him often taking defenders by surprise. He plays with plenty of confidence in his abilities and seems to have a knack for creating offensive chances where none appear to exist. Needs to continue to round out his game, especially improving his play without the puck. Continuing to get stronger and adding a physical element to his game would also help tremendously.
Poirier’s style can sometimes be reminiscent of the playmaking skill, shot and offensive ability of an Alex Tanguay. However we can also see him add physical elements to his game, hitting in the corners, and even dropping the gloves on occasion.