For this NHL Draft preview, I will be previewing my first player from the QMJHL this season, Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau.
Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau is a 5’10, 167lb Canadian right-winger who plays from Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Paquin-Boudreau played two games for Collège Antoine-Girouard Gaulois of the Quebec Midget AAA in 2010-2011 where he didn’t record a point. However, the following season, Paquin-Boudreau broke out. In 43 games for Collège Antoine-Girouard Gaulois, Paquin-Boudreau recorded 58 points (33-25) which lead to him being drafted 10th overall by Baie-Comeau in the 2012 QMJHL Entry Draft. Then, in 11 playoff games for Collège Antoine-Girouard Gaulois, Paquin-Boudreau had 16 points (11-5). This past season, Paquin-Boudreau’s rookie season, he tallied 63 points (22-41) in 67 games, coming in second in QMJHL rookie scoring to his Drakkar teammate Valentin Zykov. Playing for Drakkar in the QMJHL playoffs, Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau scored 18 points (9-9) in as many games.
Paquin-Boudreau has good puck skills, he can outmaneuver most defenders and can control the puck and keep it away from opposing players. He is a very good skater, with top end speed. Not only does Paquin-Boudreau have good straight-line speed, but he also is very quick and able to make good, sharp turns without losing much speed. He has good offensive tools that have the potential to be even better. He’s very creative, especially on the rush, and can make exceptional plays.
Paquin-Boudreau, despite having good tools, is very raw. Considering last season was just his first in junior, Paquin-Boudreau is far from being NHL-ready so whichever team drafts him must be willing to be patient and wait for him to develop. Another thing he must develop that isn’t on par with his offensive ability, is his defensive game. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he is a liability on defense, but he definitely must improve it if he wants to make the NHL. Paquin-Boudreau is also small and must add weight in order to be able to handle NHL-sized players.
Projected Draft Round:
Personally, I would take a chance on Paquin-Boudreau in the late 2nd, early 3rd round. But I could see him falling to the 4th round if scouts find him to be “too raw.”
To me, Paquin-Boudreau reminds me of a very raw Patrick Kane. While he probably won’t reach that high of a level, there are a lot of similarities.
As I said, Paquin-Boudreau probably won’t reach a Patrick Kane-type of level, but if he fills out his potential, he could definitely be a very good second line offensive option.
Follow me on Twitter: @BShaw27