The start of the QMJHL season has seen the clear division between the strong teams and the “weaker sisters” as it were. Asserting themselves as one of the contenders early on are the Dummondville Voltigeurs. Drummonville has finished in the bottom half of the Western Group of the QMJHL for the last 3 seasons. Those tides look to be turning though
Drummondville is a young team, fielding only two players over the age of 20. One of these is QMJHL veteran Yvan Mongo, who has stormed out of the gate to 12 points in 6 games and a +/- of +9.
Fellow 20-year-old veteran Morgan Adam-Moisan has been similarly leading from the front, providing 9 points and a +6 rating. Team Captain Nicolas Guay spent his summer in an NHL Training Camp with the New Jersey Devils. The time with NHL players seems to have done the young Captain well as he has shown poise and determination. Guay seems intent on trying to earn further attention of NHL scouts and possibly a future in the NHL.
Guay drawing NHL Scout attention would be welcome for 2018 draft hopefuls Nicolas Beaudin and, German Import, Bastian Eckl. Beaudin is currently the top point producing defender for the Voltigeurs with 5 points in 6 games and a +5 rating. The 5’10 left hander obviously hopes to build on a 2016-17 campaign that saw him produce 41 points. With smaller, agile, puck moving defensemen finding places on more and more NHL rosters, Beaudin is certainly a player to keep an eye on. Bastian Eckl was taken 20th overall by the Voltigeurs in the CHL import draft this year. He’s got good size and although left-handed, he plays the right-wing. He’s been off to a good start with Drummondville netting 2 goals and an assist in his first 6 games for the team. I would expect to see his role evolve as the season progresses and he grows more comfortable with his teammates.
The surprise of the season so far has been American Bobby Lynch. The big, lanky American wing has 5 goals and 8 points in 6 games. He’s 1 point off his 2017 total from 37 games played. Lynch is on a pace to thrash his previous, unimpressive season and be a big part of driving Drummonville forward.
Perhaps the most interesting player to keep an eye on though, is 15-year-old Dawson Mercer of Bay Roberts, Newfoundland.
Mercer is a right-handed forward responsible for 3 goals in his first 6 games. He has shown speed in transition and excellent puck handling skills, but also a willingness to go to the dirty areas and work around the net. Mercer also exhibits an exceptional shot in traffic. In the picture above Mercer, in white, has just fired a wrist shot top shelf against Rouyn-Noranda Goalkeeper, Sam Harvey. Note the amount of opposing team traffic around the young forward.
It will be very worthwhile watching his development with an eye on his draft year (which I BELIEVE would be 2020). Mercer seems to have the skillset to be a possible top 5 pick in his draft. It’s way too early to tell, but it’s worth thinking about while watching this kid grow.