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It was a season for Anthony Duclair, as he started the year hot, but then lost time with an ankle injury. Upon his return he faced questions and controversy in Quebec as the Remparts team has seemed to be coming apart at the seems in the second half of the season. It was even announced that Duclair and fellow Remparts’ prospect Adam Erne were being suspended by the team at one point, however in a story that has never been fully explained, the two young players were reinstated without missing a game. Through it all Duclair continued to put up points with 20 goals and 50 points in 55 games. Still its a little bit lower production than what many were expecting out of Duclair this season, and lower than his 2011-12 production. When the Remparts bowed out in the second round of the QMJHL playoffs, it ended a frustrating year for all involved with a team that was projected to battle with Halifax for top spot in the League.
Duclair does have some international experience, winning gold with Team Canada in last summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament. He is yet another prospect with athletic bloodlines as his uncle is former CFL fullback Farell Duclair.
Left Wing/Right Wing
Born Aug 26 1995 — Montreal, PQ
Height 5.11 — Weight 182 — Shoots Right
Duclair is a fantastic skater, who has a ton of top end speed and great acceleration. He is able to stickhandle at top speed which forces defenders to back up on him on the rush as he is able to go wide and cut to the net if they don’t respect his speed and skating ability. He also has a tremendous ability to change gears and beat defenders that way. Add to that fantastic agility and great edgework and you have one of the best skaters in this draft.
Duclair is able to take advantage of the extra space that his skating provides him, by using a heavy and very accurate wrist shot with a good release. He is a pure goal scorer, who can drive the net and has soft hands in tight. While he does have good vision and passing skills he has sometimes been criticized for using his shot a little bit too often. Duclair is not afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice and he battles along the boards and in front of the net, however he could use a little more muscle if he is going to play that way at the NHL level.
Duclair’s defensive game is a work in progress. Some nights he is aggressive on puck carriers, makes smart reads, gets heavily involved in the back check, and keeps his feet moving at all times in the defensive zone. Other nights, its like watching a totally different player, as he seems lost, and stops moving his feet, leading to missed assignments and bad penalties. This is one area where he will have to get more consistent going forward.
Duclair’s style of play is reminiscent of Michael Grabner, and that blazing speed will serve him well in his transition to pro hockey. In terms of potential, he could be a top line forward, but is most likely to be a second liner.
Check back tomorrow for our number 43 prospect.
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