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The second overall pick in the 2015 QMJHL Draft, Antoine Morand has helped to lead a rebuild for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. The team has gone from a bottom feeder back into respectability. He scored 28 goals and 74 points in 67 games this year, as well as adding two goals and 12 points in 11 playoff games. More impressively 57 of his 74 points were primary points (Goal or primary assist). Morand was also a leader on the team, wearing an “A” this season.
Morand had success at the international level in 2015-16, playing for Canada Red at the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge. He put up three goals and six points in six games at the tournament. He also played for Team QMJHL in the Canada/Russia Super Series, and in the CHL Top Prospects Game.
Antoine Morand Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #56
Center — shoots Left
Born February 18th, 1999 — Mercier, Quebec
Height 5’10” — Weight 170 lbs [178 cm / 77 kg]
Morand is extremely elusive in the offensive zone. He has a great first step, and excellent excellent acceleration. His top end speed allows Morand to pull away from a defender if he gets a step on them. He also has excellent agility, and the edge work necessary to make quick cuts on a dime. A strong lower body gives Morand good balance. He is stronger on the puck than one would expect when looking at his diminutive size. The low centre of gravity allows Morand to win battles along the boards.
Antoine Morand combines his skating ability with the soft hands to control the puck and make plays in tight spaces and at top speed. He is absolutely deadly in one-on-one situations. Morand is especially effective in close to the net. He can make a quick deke on a goaltender, fire the puck to the top of the net, or make a quick pass to a teammate. He has accurate wrist and snap shots, as well as a quick release. Morand scores most of his goals inside the hashmarks though. He could add some muscle and a bit more power on his shot if he is to score from further out.
Morand is more of a play maker than a goal scorer though. He has outstanding vision, and the passing skill to put the puck through the tightest of openings. He also uses his skating, and his lateral agility to open up passing lanes and find a way to get the puck to his linemates. Morand also has excellent hockey IQ. He always seems to make the right play with the puck. While Morand might be small, but he is not afraid to get involved in battles for the puck in the corner, or to mix things up in front of the net. His effort level is high and his motor is non-stop. He is often found at the middle of post-whistle scrums as well.
Morand could use some work defensively. While he can use his leverage to overcome a lack of size when fighting for pucks along the boards, his size becomes a real detriment when playing against an opponent who already has the puck and is cycling. Morand can get overpowered and has trouble containing forwards down low. He also needs to get better positionally. He also needs to get better in the faceoff circle.
Projection and Comparison
Antoine Morand has high end skills, but faces issues of size and defensive play that he must overcome to be an NHLer. He may project better as a winger than as a centre going forward. In terms of a stylistic comparison, his game is similar to retired NHL forward Daniel Briere.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
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