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The third overall pick in the 2017 QMJHL Draft, Jakob Pelletier put up 61 points in 60 games last season as a QMJHL rookie. It was enough to earn him a spot on the QMJHL All-Rookie team. This year, he took his game up another notch with 39 goals and 50 assists for 89 points in 65 games. However, he struggled in the playoffs with just two goals and one assist for three points in seven games.
Pelletier has plenty of international experience. He picked up two points in four games this summer, helping Team Canada to the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup gold medal. Following the Wildcats elimination in the QMJHL playoffs, he joined Team Canada at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship. Pelletier scored two points in seven games as Canada finished fourth. Last season, Pelletier played for Team Canada White at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, scoring four goals in six tournament games.
Jakob Pelletier Scouting Report
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born March 7th, 2001 — Quebec City, Quebec
Height 5’09” — Weight 160 lbs [175 cm / 73 kg]
Pelletier is another undersized playmaker with outstanding speed. His speed allows him to take a defender wide and cut to the net. Once he gets a step on his man, he can drop his shoulder and cut to the net. He pairs this with a very good first step and outstanding acceleration. Pelletier wins races to loose pucks on a consistent basis. He also has excellent edgework and agility. His ability to change directions very quickly makes him very difficult to contain, both off the rush and in the cycle game. Pelletier skates with a low centre of gravity and has a lot of power in his stride. He can fight through checks and win battles along the boards but will need to continue to add muscle to his frame before going to play against professionals.
Pelletier is known more as a playmaker than a goal scorer. He has an excellent hockey IQ. Pelletier anticipates plays. He knows where his teammates are and is able to thread passes through tight areas. He has the patience to wait for a linemate to get open and in a good scoring position. His quick movements and good hands allow him to control the puck down low. Pelletier uses his skating skills to create space and openings. Defenders must back off and respect his speed. When this happens he can slow down the play and find an opening passing lane. He also creates passing lanes with his quick changes of direction as well as his soft hands changing angles against defenders.
While his playmaking ability is seen as Pelletier’s biggest strength, he can also score goals. Pelletier has the soft hands to finish in tight to the net. He is not afraid to take the puck to the net and make plays. Pelletier also has a good shot. He has a real knack for slipping away from defenders and find open space to get his shot off. Pelletier plays the game as a pest. He is in the middle of nearly every scrum and drives opponents crazy with his antics after the play
Pelletier needs some work on his defensive game. His positioning and ability to cut down passing lanes could use some work. When he does make a play he can quickly transition to offence. However, Pelletier’s lack of size creates issues, especially when he is supporting the defence down low. Pelletier has some difficulty in containing bigger forwards down low and will need to add muscle in order to be more effective.
Projection and Comparison
The biggest question about Pelletier concerns his size. He is a dynamic offensive talent at the junior level and could develop into a similar type of player at the NHL level. Pelletier will need some time though. He has to continue to add muscle to his frame though. With proper development, he is likely a couple of years away. Pelletier’s game is similar to Brad Marchand, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Jakob Pelletier that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Main Photo: QUEBEC CITY, QC – NOVEMBER 20: Jakob Pelletier #11 of the Moncton Wildcats celebrates his goal against the Quebec Remparts during their QMJHL hockey game at the Videotron Center on November 20, 2018, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images)