2014 NHL Draft Profile #37: Brendan Lemieux
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 2014 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 profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2014 Draft Articles Click here.
There are a number of prospects in this draft who are blessed with great bloodlines and Brendan Lemieux of the Barrie Colts is one of them. The son of NHL super-pest Claude Lemieux, Brendan has shown that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as he put up 145 penalty minutes in 65 games this season. In his rookie year he also earned himself an eight-game suspension for a dirty hit against Kingston’s Roland McKeown. However he’s also a talented scorer, just like his father was, putting up 53 points this season as well. And again in the playoffs we see that Brendan Lemieux follows his father by elevating his play scoring 7 goals and 10 points in 11 playoff games for the Colts this year. Born in Denver, Colorado as his father was making his way through the NHL, Lemieux played for Team Canada in last summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament helping the squad to a gold medal.
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born Mar 15 1996 — Denver, Co
Height 6.01 — Weight 210 [185 cm/95 kg]
Brendan Lemieux plays the same in your face, pest like, borderline dirty style that defined his father’s career, for better or worse. He is always involved along the boards, in front of the net or in any scrum that comes his way, and is a real pain to play against. Lemieux loves to chirp and can be a real agitator out there on the ice. He also has some real offensive talent, including a good shot and a quick release. Lemieux cycles the puck well down low and makes smart passes to teammates. If given space he is willing to drive the net and can finish in tight. He does well in battles in front of the net and on the boards. If there is a criticism it is that he sometimes forces plays and doesn’t always wait for a great opportunity, trying a low percentage shot, or to force a pass through a lane that just isn’t open.
Skating wise, Lemieux has good speed and acceleration. A quick first step allows him to get to loose pucks in the offensive zone. Good agility and strong edgework, along with quick changes of direction allow him to beat his man in the cycle. Good balance and a strong frame help him to be strong on the puck and work well below the goal line.
If there is an area where Brendan Lemieux doesn’t play like his father, its in the defensive end of the ice. The younger Lemieux’s defensive game is very much a work in progress at this point. He has a tendency to puck watch and not move his feet, leading to what some might call floating at the defensive end. He simply doesn’t show the same intensity and attention to detail in the defensive zone as he does in the offensive zone. This is something that coaches will need to work with Lemieux on going forward.
Brendan Lemieux isn’t known as a “turtler” though, he’s certainly been willing to drop the gloves and has done so on many occassions over the last two years in the OHL.
In terms of comparison, this one is obvious. As I’ve already stated, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and the stylistic comparisons between Brendan Lemieux and his father Claude Lemieux are very easy to make, though that is a style comparison and not a talent one. In terms of potential, if he reaches his ceiling, Brendan Lemieux can be a top six winger with an agitating side in the NHL.
Here are some highlights of Brendan Lemieux in action.
Check back tomorrow for my #38 ranked prospect.
For the latest sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.
Interested in writing for LWOS? We are looking for enthusiastic, talented writers to join our Hockey writing team. Visit our ”Write for Us“ page for very easy details in how you can get started today!
Main Photo by Terry Wilson, OHL Images