Emile Poirier took the second half of this season by storm for the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques.
He led his team to a first-round upset of Rimouski Oceanic in the Presidents Cup, the QMJHL's league playoff tournament, but lost to the eventual Memorial Cup champions from Halifax in the second round. He also posted 70 points, with the majority coming during the home stretch of the season.
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Though he has an awkward skating stride, Poirier has had his share of breakaway goals thanks to his quick reaction and pick-up speed. His ability to walk around defensemen with balance and ease creates offensive chances, and with his quick puck-handling skills and breakout speed, Poirier is a player that defensemen can’t leave alone in the zone.
Poirier plays a great two-way game, willing to back-check and pressure the attacking forwards relentlessly. His vision allows him to disrupt passing lanes, creating the occasional odd-man breaks and scoring chances for his teammates. Poirier is also known to drop the gloves to defend and energize his teammates, which is something you just can't teach.
Because of his excellent shot blocking skills, Poirier will be an asset to the penalty kill unit if drafted by the Blue Jackets (or any NHL club, for that matter). Poirier has the potential to be a two-way, second line winger if he continues to develop his physical game and offensive presence.
Because of his recent breakout in the second half of the 2012-2013 season, Poirier could have more untapped potential than expected, making him worth much more than his No. 52 ranking.
Season GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2012-13 65 32 38 70 0 101
Photo credit: RDS.ca