When one mentions the name of William Villeneuve, one sees immediately at the end of a wire the enthusiasm of the president and general manager of the Sea Dogs of Saint-Jean, Trevor Georgia.
“I’m not a recruiter in the NHL, and there are a lot of smart people in the middle, but, in my opinion, it is under-estimated. When you think about it, it is amazing that one would call under-estimated the defender, the most productive of the QMJHL this season,” goes the dashing leader of 32 years, who sees in her foal a huge potential.
When Villeneuve threw a glance at the final standings released by the Central recruitment of the NHL, he had to go to the second page of the list of north american and down to the 99th rank to fall on his name.
We speak here of a candidate for the title of defender of the year in the QMJHL. And a young man who, at 17 years old, has dominated all players at his position with 58 points.
“I expected a little, sincerely, responds the young man during an interview with TVASports.ca. It’s been since the beginning of the year that the Plant does not put me super high. It is a small surprise, but I expected that anyway. I don’t too much with the different classifications. It pushes me to work even harder.”
It is a bit of the story of the season for Villeneuve, who has not even received an invitation to a game of the best hopes in January. Why it seems to pass under the radar? The mystery is just as wide for the main party.
“Honestly, it’s a good question, concedes he. I thought to have done enough to deserve this invitation-there. I’m back strong this season after a second half of the season difficult in the past year.”
“I don’t really have an answer to that. People have different opinions on my subject matter. Some love me, others don’t like me…”
A potential rollover
When the TVASports.ca has surveyed recruiters from the NHL to establish his top 10 hopes quebecers of the vintage, it was alleged that the lanky athlete (6 ‘1″, 175 lbs) one thing in particular : his lack of physical maturity, which affects several aspects of his game, as his explosion on the skates that leaves something to be desired or his troubles in the battles to one-on-one.
A critical reasonable. But it is important to understand that a significant factor has delayed physical development of Villeneuve. Coming back from holiday last season, he suffered a bout of mononucleosis. All of this while at the age of 16 he was playing in the first pair against the best opponents, with as partner the 21 year-old rookie, Michael Campoli. It was also with the pressure of having been chosen second in the draft out of the QMJHL, behind Hendrix Lapierre.
“At the beginning, it was believed that he was simply tired, tells the story of Georgie. This is crazy. Consider the time that it takes, to recover from a bout of mononucleosis. How long after mono can you really find your better shape and add muscle to your frame? Physically, it was a period of 12 months difficult for Will. I think he’s only scratching his potential. You start just to see what he is capable of doing.”
“This summer, he will be able to build muscle without having to be slowed down by something like mononucleosis. I think you’ll see an improvement even more substantial its share next year,” he predicts.
“It’s been the most important of my life, and recognizes about him the most concerned. It is essential to add a little weight to the great framing there. If I become stronger, my explosion will be much better. I will also be more quick in my battles, one-on-one in front of the net. This will be easier for me to pat down the guys.”
In spite of the shortcomings on which it will work, Villeneuve knows what he brings to a club of the NHL. Moreover, it is not a question for him to completely change his game just because it is not a perfect player.
“I’m a winner. I won since I was young. I also have to stay myself. The “game” that I played since I was young has led me where I am today,” said the right-hander, whose main source of inspiration in the NHL is Alex Pietrangelo, the Blues of St. Louis.
“William’s taking it very seriously, says its director-general. Defeats them, he takes them in a very personal way. Some people will put the blame on 10 different things when they lose. William bears the burden of the defeat as if it was him who had lost to all the world. It has qualities of a leader.”
The CH cache-t-he on his game?
The Montreal canadiens has three choices in the second round in anticipation of the next draft. Villeneuve may be the number of options available to the grand chief of the recruitment amateur of the organization, Trevor Timmins.
However, it is always difficult, if not impossible, to guess the intentions of a team as the hc.
“I have not felt a particular interest. I had a small interview with one of their recruiters, Donald Audette,” says Villeneuve.
Like quebec, the Sherbrooke does not hide that it would be special for him to be chosen by the club. Imagine a scenario in which the CH threw also his sights on his best friend and teammate at the Sea Dogs, Jérémie Poirier…
Of course, Villeneuve will give body and soul to any team that will give her confidence.
“The CH is the team of my childhood, so this is a dream. It is sure that this would be special. But when you get to such a level, which is important, it is just being selected by a team that will believe in you. In the end, the last chance, it’s just a number. It is the work after that counts,” said wisely the defender.