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Emile Poirier really emerged as an offensive force this year with the Gatineau Olympiques. It was a true breakout year for the young left wing, as he more than doubled his goal total and went from 40 points as a rookie, to 70 this season. It really came together for Poirier in the second half of the QMJHL season and in the playoffs where he was able to help the Gatineau Olympiques to a first round upset over the favored Rimouski Oceanic. Unfortunately the cinderella run for the 13th place Olympiques would quickly fizzle out in a second round matchup with the eventual Memorial Cup champions from Halifax.
Born Dec 14 1994 — Montreal, PQ
Height 6.01 — Weight 175 — Shoots Left
Poirers skating stride is extremely awkward, but improved as the season went on. This led to an improvement in his top end speed that was badly needed, and helped him to really take off in the second half. The top end speed is not great by any means, but he’s gotten himself to a decent level through continual improvement which is quite the accomplishment. The other areas of Poirier’s skating are generally pretty good. He has above average acceleration, and a quick first step. This makes him more quick than fast and he is quick to react and pick up loose pucks. His agility and edgework are also decent allowing Poirier to weave through traffic, and to get around defenders in taking the puck to the net.
Poirier has a well rounded offensive game. He was once thought of as mainly a playmaker, thanks to his excellent stickhandling, vision, and passing ability. While those skills have not diminished (and in fact continue to improve) he’s added some other strong aspects to his game. Poirier has really improved his wrist and snap shots both in power and accuracy, and his release is much quicker than in his rookie season. Combining the new shot, with the willingness to go to the net, and some soft hands in tight, and one can see how Poirier went from 15 to 32 goals in a single year. Poirier does get involved in the corners and go to the dirty areas of the ice at times, but he still doesn’t do it enough to be called a true power forward. He can really improve his game, by doing that, and by adding upper body muscle.
Poirier has a well-developed defensive game. He is a willing and able back-checker who places good back pressure on the puck carrier off the rush. He is good positionally in his own end and can create turnovers with his active stick cutting down passing lanes. A willing shot blocker, Poirier has been used on the penalty kill at times.
Poirier’s style can sometimes be reminiscent of the playmaking skill, shot and offensive ability of an Alex Tanguay. However we can also see him add physical elements to his game, hitting in the corners, and even dropping the gloves on occasion. When we factor those in, I really had a hard time coming up with the comparison, but I hope that will work for you. Its once again a style comparison only though, and not based on potential. If Poirier can be consistent in that physical game, and continues to develop the offence, he can become an effective 2 way winger, capable of playing in the top 6.
Check back tomorrow for our number 53 prospect.
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