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Nicolas Aube-Kubel may not have been the big name on the Val D’or Foreurs this season, as that role went to 2013 Red Wings first rounder Anthony Mantha, but he certainly made his impact felt in a secondary role for a powerful Foreurs team. Aube-Kubel would put up 22 goals and 53 points in 65 games for Val D’or and a further 13 points in 24 playoff games in helping the club to the QMJHL title, and a spot in the Memorial Cup. Aube-Kubel was quiet in the big tournament, failing to put up a point in Val D’or’s four games, but I wouldn’t hold a small sample size and short tournament against him. Its a tough place for a young player to excel. In his rookie season he put up 10 goals and 27 points for the Foreurs.
Aube-Kubel played for Team Quebec at the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge, excelling on the international stage putting up 4 goals and 4 assists in just six games. Obviously going so far in the QMJHL playoffs kept him unavailable for the Under 18s.
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born May 10 1996 — Sorel, PQ
Height 5.11 — Weight 190 [180 cm/86 kg]
Nicolas Aube-Kubel is a decent skater. He needs some work on his first step, but once he gets going he shows good acceleration and above average speed. Aude-Kubel has very good edgework and agility, and shows the ability to make very tight turns, and has an excellent crossover. His balance is decent but could be improved with more core strength going forward and this would help him to be stronger on the puck and better in board battles.
Aube-Kubel has a very good wrist shot coupled with an excellent release. He loves to shoot the puck and will fire from anywhere in the offensive zone. He has good hockey sense and an ability to find open spaces when his linemates have the puck. Makes decisions quickly and gets the puck off his stick in a hurry. Is a decent passer, with good vision; but shooting is more his game. Aube-Kubel’s stickhandling is decent, but he’s not one to hold the puck for long periods of time, he is always looking to quickly pass it off and get open on a give and go, or take the shot and go after the rebound. He’s also a good forechecker who gets in on the puck quickly and is very good at creating pressure and turnovers. Aube-Kubel is willing to battle in the corners, and will go to the front of the net and battle to score goals.
Aube-Kubel is a very good defensive player. He backchecks hard and aggressively supporting the defence down low and plays physical on the puck carrier. He cuts down passing lanes with a good active stick and causes turnovers which he can quickly transition into attacking options.
In terms of style he plays like a bigger version (though still undersized) of Brian Gionta. This is a stylistic comparison and not a talent one. Nicolas Aube-Kubel has the potential to be a solid second line forward if he hits his ceiling, but could also make the NHL in a bottom line role if he doesn’t quite reach his max.
Here are some highlights of Aude-Kubel in action.
Come back tomorrow to check out my #57 prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft.
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