EDMONTON, AB - The jersey number 50 isn't exactly known as a goal scorer's symbol but Oilers 2019 second-round selection Raphael Lavoie is changing that.
After lighting the lamp 20 times in 23 games during the QMJHL Playoffs in 2018-19, the Quebec product has continued his torrid production early in '19-20 with the Mooseheads.
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Lavoie is up to 10 goals and 12 assists in 13 outings this year, helping Halifax stay afloat in a tough Eastern Conference division - one which features Alexis Lafrenière's Rimouski Oceanic as well as Oilers goaltending prospect Olivier Rodrigue's Moncton Wildcats.
The 38th-overall pick in June's NHL Draft has a profound reason for choosing the half-century digit and brings its meaning to life every time he illuminates the red bulb.
"That's the year my dad cured his cancer," Lavoie told EdmontonOilers.com on Tuesday. "That's how old he was.
"It's a little reminder for myself that there's more than hockey to life and I'm thankful to have a second chance with someone I love."
It's been years of good health for Lavoie's father and years of good goal scoring for Lavoie, who sits tied for fourth in QMJHL goals with his 10 markers. The 19-year-old began the season with just one tally in his first four games but has nine in October and is currently riding a five-game goal streak.
Lavoie attributes his two linemates, Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Maxim Trépanier, as reasons for the surge. Both skaters recently returned from their National Hockey League stints with the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators, respectively.
As a trio, the three have a combined 22 goals and 50 points playing under new head coach J.J. Daigneault - who has granted the lethal unit the freedom to be offensive as long as they are responsible.
"We have some structure but we can be creative within the structure," Lavoie said of his new coach's philosophy.
"You got to be reliable defensively, it's not just all offence. Good defence leads to good offence."
Lavoie entered the fresh QMJHL season with the Oilers tag attached to him. The 6-foot-4, 198-pounder is applying the lessons he learned from his short time with Bakersfield Condors Head Coach Jay Woodcroft to his game and continues working with Oilers Skating Coach David Pelletier on top of that.
As a result, Lavoie feels like he knows what he needs to do and what areas he needs to work on to get to the NHL.
"Mostly just little details about my game: puck protection, positioning, everything that needed improvement," Lavoie, specifying which areas need work, said.
It's all in the hopes that one day he will be scoring goals - as he is wont to do in the QMJHL - in the NHL while sporting the special No. 50.
"Especially after going to the Oilers, you gain a lot of experience seeing a lot of what to do, how to treat your body and what it takes to get there."
Images courtesy of the Halifax Mooseheads