This is part 11 of my Prospect File series where I update you guys’ on Hockey’s Future’s Top 20 Anaheim Ducks prospects. This will be a daily series that will hopefully end before the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. I will also be doing a series on possible players the Ducks will take with their first round pick. Part 10 was on center Steven Whitney. So, next up in part 11 is #10 on HF’s Top 20, center Antoine Laganiere.
The Yale University Bulldogs made a surprising run to the NCAA National Championship this year and Antoine Laganiere was a big reason why. He scored 15 goals and registered 14 assists for 29 points in 37 games this season. He was already on cloud nine, and then he signed his first contract when he signed with the Anaheim Ducks shortly after the championship game. The Quebec native has very good size at 6’4″-215 and he uses it. He will hit anybody and uses his body to shield the puck. He’s a big power forward who also has a good skill level. He has excellent hands for a big guy and he can also skate very well with long and strong (teehee) strides. He was eligible to be drafted going back to 2008, but was passed up. He’s now developed his game so well that he was arguably the top college free agent available at the end of the college season. He decided to finish his academics before joining the Ducks organization full-time, but was unable to get any game action with the Ducks or the Admirals. The Ducks are loaded at center, but with his size and skill level, he’s going to get as much attention as possible. If Saku Koivu retires, I wouldn’t be surprised if Laganiere was given every opportunity to make the NHL roster out of training camp.
Weight: 215 lbs.
“Laganiere is a power forward who uses his frame exceedingly well in creating space and opportunities. Where this is particularly noticeable is in his strong play in the dirty areas, an attribute that has made scouts take notice, as well. Laganiere takes full advantage of his size, reach and tremendous strength in maintaining both puck control and his positioning. He is not one to shy away from the physical aspects of the game. He can deliver solid checks and is aggressive on the forecheck. He is also a competitor. One notable improvement Laganiere has made since arriving at Yale is in his skating. He is an excellent skater with great mobility and skates with long, powerful strides. His added strength has greatly enhanced his speed and agility. Laganiere possesses great hands and a blisteringly hard shot. He can make nice, crisp passes, and along with his outstanding vision, can utilize open spaces quite effectively. He also has great finishing ability. One of Laganiere’s best assets is his stick, which he uses equally well in both offensive and defensive situations.
The surprise team of the Frozen Four, Yale University, was not even done celebrating their 4-0 win in the National Championship game over top-seeded Quinnipiac when Antoine Laganiere signed as a free agent with Anaheim. Widely considered one of the best free agent NCAA players on the market, Laganiere is a power forward who had 29 points in 37 games with the Bulldogs in 2012-13 and helped launch the team to an unforgettable tournament. He uses his size well and plays a very big game. His puck possession is solid as well as his willingness to get involved in the physical aspect of the game. He mixes in the offense nicely and has shown a good amount of scoring touch as well as willingness to crash the net. Next season will be big for Laganiere as he embarks on his professional career and will be watched very closely in Norfolk.via HockeysFuture.com
Next up in the series will be winger Devante Smith-Pelly.