Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2013 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical draft profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2013 Draft Articles Click here.
Edit: Drafted 39th Overall by the Phoenix Coyotes.
Laurent Dauphin had a solid rookie season for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the QMJHL. Moving up from Midget AAA to the Q, can sometimes be an adjustment for a young player, but Dauphin showed from day one that he could compete in the world of major junior and eventually finished the season with 57 points in 62 games. He would also contribute in the playoffs with 4 points in Chicoutimi’s 6 game first round loss.
However it was when the spotlight shone the brightest that Dauphin was at his best. In the CHL Top Prospects game (a night where Dauphin was a last minute replacement for Hunter Shinkaruk who came down with the flu), Dauphin scored a goal and an assist and was named MVP of the game for the victorious Team Orr. Then playing for Canada at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships, Dauphin came up with some huge goals in the medal round, helping Canada secure the gold medal. If the scouts hadn’t noticed Dauphin before, he certainly made his name known with his big game performances.
Born Mar 26 1995 — Repentigny, PQ
Height 6.00 — Weight 166 — Shoots Left
Dauphin’s game is based on his great skating ability. He has a very fluid stride which allows him to generate a lot of speed. His quick first few steps, and very good acceleration are tremendous assets. His ability to change speeds, coupled with great lateral agility and excellent edgework make him very deceptive and dangerous on the rush. However, Dauphin needs to add some lower body muscle, as he does not have good balance and is knocked off the puck too easily.
Dauphin is an excellent stickhandler. He uses this along with his skating to protect the puck and make plays. His patience and poise can make his linemates better by buying them an extra second or two to get away from their checks in the offensive zone. Dauphin has good vision and passing skills and can put the puck on his teammates tape with a great pass when they do get open. He is especially proficient with the saucer pass, using it to thread the needly and avoid defender’s sticks. Dauphin’s shot is merely average in terms of power, but it is extremely accurate, and his quick release will lead to him scoring goals. Dauphin is willing to get involved and battles in the corners and in front of the net, but he is undersized and gets knocked over easily. His skillset is especially deadly on the powerplay where his vision, passing, and high hockey IQ are able to exploit a defense, and he doesn’t have to worry as much about one on one physical battles.
Dauphin is committed in the defensive end of the ice. He works hard on the backcheck and plays a solid positional game. However the lack of strength is again his biggest issue, as he loses board battles, and can lose containment on the cycle game. Despite these issues with strength, there is absolutely zero issue with Dauphin’s commitment and intensity. He never quits on a play, and is constantly involved in and around the puck. This can be seen in all three zones.
Measuring in at 6’0″ Dauphin has good height at 6’0″ but at just 166 lbs, he really needs to add muscle to that frame. This will be Dauphin’s biggest challenge going forward. While I realize that adding muscle is a common complaint that regular readers of my prospect profiles will see, Dauphin is even below average when it comes to this aspect. If he can add the weight necessary to he has all the talent necessary to succeed in the pro game.
Dauphin’s playing style is reminiscent of Rich Peverley. Now I stress that these comparisons are for stylistic purposes only and not based on potential. In this case, Dauphin’s ceiling (if he can reach it) is to be an even better version of Peverley. One who can lock down a permanent top 6 role, and contribute at both ends of the ice, and be a key asset on the powerplay.
Check back tomorrow for our number 44 prospect.
Thanks for reading, as always feel free to leave comments below and follow me on twitter @lastwordBKerr. Give the rest of the hockey department a follow while you’re at it – @BigMick99, @IswearGAA, and @LastWordOnNHL, and follow the site @lastwordonsport.
Interested in writing for LastWordOnSports? If so, check out our “Join Our Team” page to find out how.
Picture Credit: theqmjhl.ca,