Alexis Lafrenière will be the very first choice of the NHL amateur draft. And it will not be a flop as some have wanted to suggest.
Even as a winger, Lafrenière has the tools to become a generational player. His ability to progress is still great despite his dominance among juniors. It is the safest choice for the upcoming auction.
But the Courteau circuit has a lot to offer to NHL teams outside of Lafrenière.
Dawson Mercer and Hendrix Lapierre will probably become top 20 picks. One of the two thanks to CH? I really hope so.
Mavrik Bourque, William Dufour and Jacob Perreault shouldn't wait too long before hearing their names from the second round.
Defenders to watch
Two defenders also hold attention. Jérémie Poirier and William Villeneuve, both of the Saint-Jean Sea Dogs. Two very good hopes which are reminiscent of Thomas Chabot and Jakub Zborïl, with these same Sea Dogs in 2015.
That season, Zboril was playing his first campaign in America and had amassed 33 points, including 13 goals, in 44 games. Chabot, who was in his second season with the Sea Dogs, had 41 points, including 12 goals, in 66 games. Chabot had a better physique than Zborïl, but several scouts said it was risky in his own zone, unlike his Czech playing partner.
The Boston Bruins, who had three successive first-round picks, called Zboril to the podium in the 15th overall. Five picks later, the Ottawa Senators took the Chabot bet. The rest is eloquent. Chabot is a complete defenseman, he takes precious minutes of playing time, he is the leader of the Senators' young brigade and he has accumulated 119 points in 205 games on the Bettman Circuit.
Zborïl does not come out of the American League and has two small career games in the NHL.
Which brings us back to Villeneuve and Poirier. Villeneuve's strengths are rightly praised. They say he's fully booked and spent the season picking up Poirier's mess at the Dogs' blue line.
In other words, Villeneuve is the choice of those with the cold, who always stop in a car when the light changes from green to yellow. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Villeneuve is not a good choice. I'm just saying that between the two, I choose Poirier.
This one has something that cannot be taught: the offensive instinct. His skating is fluid. I think that faced with the reality of the NHL, Poirier will apply defensively and that he will become a very interesting asset. He is left-handed and moves the puck well. The Canadian has this type of spectrum at the top of his grocery list.
It remains to be seen whether those who recommend a choice to Marc Bergevin will be cautious or ambitious.
Maybe it's time to take a nice risk?