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  • 2021 NHL Draft: Zachary L’Heureux is a heel


    Some players were just meant to be a pain in the ass, and Halifax Mooseheads center Zachary L’Heureux is one of those players.

    Someone that just absolutely loves to cause hell on the ice, L’Heureux hits bodies first and asks questions second. In an established program like the Mooseheads, it’s unique to see someone with such a distinct playing style and makes some neaderthalic grins come out from every single fan watching him skate around the ice.

    The major question tends to be whether or not the supplemental discipline will get in the way of L’Heureux showing off the skill that he has, as he loves the extra curricular, post-whistle plays — he’s been suspended four times in the shortened QMJHL season, like damn. Whether he turns into a top-line power forward or dwindles into a bottom-six grinder, there is certainly reason to believe that he will make it to the top level.

    It’s certainly a factor that as he moves up into the professional level, playing among men bigger than him, the physicality and fighting might lessen, getting him to lean on that goal-scoring and unique playmaking ability he actually has.

    There’s not too much to think about when it comes to L’Heureux — he just simply enjoys all the extra part of the game that makes hockey what it is, and if you love physicality and seeing some dudes get absolutely rocked, then L’Heureux is the one you want the Wild drafting with one of their first-round picks.

    Pre-Draft Rankings

    #30 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

    #27 by Elite Prospects

    #19 by Dobber Prospects

    #40 by Scott Wheeler/The Athletic

    #12 by Craig Button/TSN

    What Scouts Are Saying

    -Brayden Olafson, Dobber Prospects

    -Scott Wheeler, The Athletic

    -Elite Prospect Draft Guide

    -Corey Pronman, The Athletic

    Would He Fit In With The Wild?

    I think the need for someone that can possibly perform in the top-six, hoping that the physicality translates into solid defense and can score more goals as an upside, is certainly something the Wild want to address. There’s only so much Marcus Foligno can do and Jordan Greenway has somewhat disappointed with his lack of offensive punch, but L’Heureux would certainly bring something that no other Minnesota forward prospect has.

    Could The Wild Get Him?

    Despite some ranking him in the mid-first round, there is just a sense that he will be available at No. 21 at least, and maybe even at No. 25. It’s difficult to project though, especially considering scouts who have a bias for physical wingers and are seeing what Matthew Tkachuk is doing with the Calgary Flames would want him taken higher. It’s a tricky spot, but I would say there’s a 50/50 chance for him being there at the first chance the Wild have.

    A Minnesota Relation

    I already mentioned it, but maybe it’s a little bit of a Foligno, but not smiling all the time and not nice. Basically if he decided to go around and pick fights with every dude he sees.

    There’s some offense there and capable playmaking, but it’s all about the physicality and dominating your opponent that way.

    This draft board isn’t a ranking, it’s just the order in which we published our draft profiles and some guys we just wanted to write about.

    2021 NHL Draft Board


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