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Alexis Vanier Facts

by Dan Marrazza / San Jose Sharks

There’s a saying: “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

However, in the case of 2014 Sharks fourth-round Draft pick Alexis Vanier, it might as well be: “The bigger they are, the harder they hit.”

Really. This guy destroys people. He’s only 18, but this defenseman is built like a man-child, and seems to revel in using his brute strength to bully smaller opponents.

A Quebec native, Vanier’s command of the English language is still a bit spotty. However, he is perfectly capable of getting his message across, although his track-record suggests that the only message he ever tries to send opponents is: “Get ready for pain.” Or: “Préparez-vous pour la douleur” in his native language.

  1. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Vanier is a hulking, physical, stay-at-home defenseman in every sense of the words. However, Vanier uses his muscle to do more than just physically punish his opponents; he also uses it to pound the puck, having improved from scoring 0 goals in 2012-13 to 15 this past season.

  1. Had his 2013-14 season curtailed by a shoulder injury, which was operated on in April. Vanier just started skating again last week, and is expected to be fully healthy when the season starts this coming fall.

  2. Plays for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar, whose French team name – Drakkar – roughly translates to the singular “Viking ship” in English.

  3. Baie-Comeau is one of the most remote outposts in Quebec-based junior hockey. It is a nine hour drive northeast from Montreal, along the St. Lawrence River. Or to look at it another way, winter temperatures in Baie-Comeau “average” in the neighborhood of zero degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chills that can get as low as -40 to -50 degrees.

  4. In a moment of humorous candor, Vanier was asked by reporters what he thought of his own skating, following his selection. Vanier’s reply: “It’s good.” The next immediate question he faced was what he felt he most needed to improve upon. His answer: “My skating.” Certainly a very honest answer, but an answer that is a sneak peek into Vanier’s not seeing “good” as good enough. He wants to be better.

 Round 1, Pick 27 - F Nikolay Goldobin  Round 3, Pick 81 - F Dylan Sadowy
 Round 2, Pick 46 - D Julius Bergman  Round 4, Pick 102 - D Alexis Vanier
 Round 2, Pick 53 - F Noah Rod  Round 5, Pick 149 - F Rourke Chartier
 Round 3, Pick 72 - F Alex Schoenborn  Round 6, Pick 171 - F Kevin Labanc
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