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2009 NHL Draft: Simon Despres

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Leading up to the 2009 draft, Flordiapanthers.com will be highlighting some of the top prospects to look out for. Could the Panthers draft one of these players with their pick in the first round (#14 overall)?


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2009 NHL Entry Draft Site


Up Close With Simon Despres (Video)
  Simon Despres


The Lowdown:
   6-4, 205
   Defenseman
   DOB: 7-27-91 – Laval
   Saint John (Quebec Major Junior
   Hockey League)
   Final rank: 8. Midterm rank: 6


The Shinny:
Top-rated prospect from the QMJHL, Despres has a lot going for him. He’s regarded as a top prospect on the blue line who’s excellent playing the puck and helping in transition. He led Saint John with a plus-16 rating as well as defensive scoring with 32 points (30 assists). He was an assistant captain with Team Canada at the 2009 Under-18 World Championships, where he had two assists and a plus-5 rating. He was also a member of Canada’s gold medal team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in 2008.

NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau: “For a potential pro player, he’s got the size and mobility. I’ve seem him many games and he never seems to make a bad play. He’s never going to get 100 points, but definitely when you want a guy to play defense, he’s your guy. He does it all. He’ll block shots and he moves the puck at the right time.”

Saint John head coach Jacques Beaulieu: “He has good hands for a big man and he has outstanding vision as well as hockey sense. To make it to the next level he will need to improve his upper body strength and his shot, but, overall, Simon is an outstanding person on and off the ice.” In January, Beaulieu told NHL.com, “I think for sure out of the 12 years of junior that I’ve been a coach, I think (Despres’s) the best defenseman that I’ve ever had.”

Despres on Despres: “My idol when I was young was Mario Lemieux, for perseverance and everything he’s gone through, everything he’s achieved. I think he was the greatest player of all time.”

Did You Know: Despres had a hole-in-one in just the second round of golf he ever played.

His Favorites
   NHL Team: Montreal Canadiens
   NHL Player: Pavel Datsyuk
   Shootout move: “The Datsyuk”
   Movie: Van Wilder
   Reality Show: Loft Story
   Actress: Jessica Alba
   Cartoon: The Simpsons
   Website: Fulltiltpoker.com
   Book: Harry Potter
   Restaurant: East Side Mario’s
   Sport (other than hockey): Golf
   Snack: Chocolate
   Superhero: Batman

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