The Anaheim Ducks have two first-round picks in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, today we continue our series of looking at potential picks for the Ducks with the second of their first-round picks.
The Anaheim Ducks have a history of drafting well in recent years. They’ve acquired high-end talent late in the first round (As they are usually picking in the 20’s due to their success in making the playoffs the majority of the last decade) and they’ll look to continue that this season with a pick in the 20’s, albeit not their own pick this time.
We’ve seen the Ducks pick up players who have plummeted down draft boards in the past, including recently with Max Comtois who is looking more and more like a steal with each passing game. Let’s discuss someone who might potentially fill that role this season.
Raphael Lavoie- Center/Wing- Chambly, QC- Current Team: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Raphael Lavoie is a curious case, he started the season on many draft boards as a top 10 pick. He’s seemingly got all the tools to be an impact player in the NHL but has slowly been sliding down draft boards this season, although not because of his play, rather other prospects have leap-frogged him.
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Lavoie had a good regular season this year, putting up 73 points in 62 games and was awarded the Mike Bossy Trophy which goes to the “Best Professional Prospect” in the QMJHL. Another reason that we might have seen Lavoie dropping a bit on the draft boards is the relatively weak play of Halifax in the regular season. The Mooseheads weren’t exactly setting the world on fire, we’ve seen time and time again that even good performances on bad teams can cause players to slide. Halifax has turned a corner recently however and they are tearing it up in the playoffs, led heavily by Lavoie and his incredible 20 points in 11 games.
Lavoie’s playoff performance may push him up some draft boards and out of the Ducks reach, but it’s still possible he slides (a la Joe Veleno last season.) Raphael Lavoie is a big player, standing 6’4 but not quite hitting 200lbs. He has some room to bulk up a bit. Lavoie is incredibly difficult to separate from the puck when he has it on his stick, paired with his fleet-footedness for someone his size and you have a potential terror for opponents.
The young forward has a seriously dangerous shot, packing a punch while remaining scarily accurate. A good playmaker as well with great vision and not afraid to lay, or take a hit. Lavoie has the potential of being a massive steal if he falls past 15th overall and someone who would benefit from learning from some of the Ducks veterans were he to fall to them.
Comparison: Rick Nash? Finding a player with his size, tenacity, and skill set is difficult but I think Nash is likely the closest we can get.
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