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High-scoring Ouellet making world junior push

Published Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 10:41 p.m. under 2012-13 RWC Reports
Xavier Ouellet

Xavier Ouellet (Credit: Red Wings Central)

Xavier Ouellet is making a strong case to play for Team Canada at the IIHF world junior championship in Ufa, Russia.

The 19-year-old Blainville Boisbriand Armada captain is off to a tremendous start in the QMJHL this season, third among all defensemen with three goals and 16 assists for 19 points along with a plus-9 rating in 19 games.

On top of that, he made a huge impression on Canada’s blue line during the Canada-Russia Challenge in August and was one of the QMJHL’s best players in Monday’s Subway Super Series contest with a goal and an assist in a 6-2 loss to Russia.

Although the QMJHL traditionally hasn’t put many players on Canada’s world junior team, Ouellet is as good a bet as anybody.

“He’s a step ahead of any other defenseman in his league,” said Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer. “He’s got a good chance to be invited to the Team Canada camp (in December) and has a good chance to make the team going to Ufa.”

The six-foot-one, 190-pound Ouellet, taken by the Red Wings in the second round, 48th overall, in the 2011 draft, was a finalist for the QMJHL’s top defenceman award last season and is in his second year as the Armada’s captain.

Although the Red Wings consider Ouellet more of a two-way defenseman, he’s become a lethal offensive threat at the major junior level with improved skating, good puck-moving ability and hard shot. He leads all defensemen in the QMJHL with 72 shots.

What has impressed Fischer the most is how Ouellet has steadily gotten stronger, faster and better since being drafted.

“To me, that’s the best quality a player can have,” Fischer said. “Staying hungry, never being satisfied, and finding a way to get better at the level you’re at. That’s our philosophy in Detroit. Guys have to dominate to move on.”

Blainville-Boisbriand is second in the QMJHL and ranked fifth in the Canadian Hockey League with a 13-5-2 record.

NOTES: Goaltender Petr Mrazek (Grand Rapids, AHL) allowed just two goals on 61 shots in his first two starts with the Griffins and could be in the AHL to stay if he keeps it up … Forwards Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist (Grand Rapids, AHL) are averaging a point per game or more through 10 games … Forwards Landon Ferraro and Trevor Parkes (Grand Rapids, AHL) are off to good starts as sophomores with seven and five points through 10 games, respectively … Forward Martin Frk (Halifax, QMJHL) is coming off a couple of good offensive games, but also took a penalty on Sunday that his coach, Dominique Ducharme, called “stupid” and “a bad two,” costing his team a game-changing goal and ultimately dashing a potential 15-game winning streak … Forward Alan Quine (Peterborough, OHL) returned from mononucleosis this week and had three goals and an assist in four games.

Following is this week’s statistical report.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEVEL LEAGUE GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL PRO 10 3 4 7 8 0 19
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids AHL PRO 9 2 2 4 14 -1 22
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids AHL PRO 10 3 2 5 9 +1 12
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids AHL PRO 9 0 2 2 0 -2 9
Nyquist, Gustav Grand Rapids AHL PRO 10 5 6 11 4 +6 34
Smith, Brendan Grand Rapids AHL PRO 10 1 4 5 6 +3 23
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 10 4 6 10 6 +5 31
Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL PRO 7 2 2 4 4 -2 7
Nicastro, Max Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids AHL PRO 7 1 3 4 4 +1 4
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL PRO 8 0 1 1 2 -1 7
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL PRO 10 1 1 2 6 -1 12
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL PRO 7 0 1 1 13 0 2
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 10 1 1 2 2 -3 8
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 0 0 4 0 1
Coetzee, Willie Toledo ECHL PRO 9 4 3 7 2 -3 40
Nestrasil, Andrej Toledo ECHL PRO 9 4 3 7 8 +2 21
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud State WCHA NCAA 8 0 8 8 4 -2 15
Marshall, Ben Minnesota WCHA NCAA 7 2 2 4 2 +4 15
McKee, Mike Lincoln USHL/JR-A USHL 7 1 2 3 63 +3 11
De Haas, James Penticton USHL/JR-A BCHL 17 3 7 10 6 0
Frk, Martin Halifax CHL QMJHL 16 5 14 19 30 +5 43
Ouellet, Xavier Blainville-Boisbriand CHL QMJHL 19 3 16 19 26 +9 72
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville CHL QMJHL 16 3 4 7 26 +2 29
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie CHL OHL 7 1 8 9 12 +5
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie CHL OHL 18 8 11 19 10 +1
Tvrdon, Marek Vancouver CHL WHL 17 7 14 21 14 +2
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current CHL WHL 20 0 9 9 38 -5
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas EUR SEL 20 3 13 16 2 -5 56
Backman, Mattias Linkoping EUR SEL 19 0 7 7 8 +4 15
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit EUR FIN 18 2 3 5 33 -1 73
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow EUR KHL 21 4 2 6 4 +3 15
Bodin, Rasmus HV-71 EUR-JR SWE-J20 10 0 1 1 2 0 7

GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 17 6 7 2 1 3.49 .901
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 5 2 2 1 0 3.11 .887
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 3 0 3 0 0 4.38 .847
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 2 2 0 0 0 0.96 .967
Mrazek, Petr Toledo ECHL 3 2 1 0 0 2.02 .944
Pearce, Jordan Toledo ECHL 1 0 1 0 0 4.12 .810
11 Comments
  1. ScottD says:

    Great news for Ouellet! I’m really happy to see him having another great season. I hope he gets his chance to play for Canada. Does anyone know what the time frame is for Sproul to come back? I know he broke his arm so I understand that it will take time but I’m curious. On another note I have to say I’m a little disappointed with Pulkkinen! I was so excited to see this kid come over but now it seems like there is something wrong. Plus Mrazek is unbelievable starting his AHL career. I pray he keeps it up and can be a big difference maker in the future in the NHL.

  2. Stevie Y says:

    I reported that Quine played his first game against Oshawa last week. After a slow first two games back from mono, he recorded four points in his last two games. It should be a no-brainer that Quine gets a contract at some point before he needs to be signed in June. Ouellet will make the Canadian roster as long as the NHL is back in business. Underagers such as Hamilton and Murray who are shoeins for the team will be lost to the NHL and Ouellet is a perfect fit to replace one of them on the Canadian blueline. Mrazek is unbelieveable. My prediction, he is in the NHL to stay next year.

  3. yannick says:

    Thanks for another great article!
    It’s great to see that Tatar is on par with Nyquist this year, looks like the world championships was really beneficial for him, looking forward to seeing those 2 in the winged wheel soon.
    Looks like Almqvist had a pretty good start to his rookie AHL season as well, so good news there too.
    And obviously, Mrazek is amazing so far.

  4. Shawn Burr says:

    Thanks for these posts always a good read and good to see how the prospects are doing. Any update on Riley Sheahan? I know he is supposed to be a good two way center but I wondered what Blashill thinks of his so far and if he is using his size?

  5. NHLrick says:

    Great write up. Just a quick question. What lines are Tatar and Nyquist on? Are they playing together?

  6. Jim says:

    Hey Rick,
    They play together centred by Andersson which is line 1.

  7. Shawn says:

    Seriously? I assumed they were playing with Ferraro.

  8. Jim says:

    Yes I am serious. Ferraro looks good this year, rebounding as a prospect quite a bit.

  9. yvr says:

    btw…Tvrdon, Vancouver Giants, was pulled from the warm-up last night (Nov.11) for an undisclosed injury. No farther details in today’s paper. After a very slow start he was starting to pot a few goals and his game was coming around quite nicely. Stayed tuned.

  10. Shane says:

    Doesn’t look good for Tvrdon. Apparently he has some type of infection on his arm. Never good when you hear “out indefinitely.” Hope he heals up quick!

    http://blogs.theprovince.com/2012/11/12/sniper-marek-tvrdon-a-coveted-trade-chip-for-the-vancouver-giants-is-sidelined-indefinitely-with-arm-infection/

  11. yvr says:

    Depending on the severity of Tvrdon’s problem there is no doubt he will be traded to a contender. This is SOP in junior especially so since the Giants are rebuilding and more than likely to miss the playoffs. Unload your stars for picks and prospects.



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