Zachary L’Heureux Scouting Report: 2021 NHL Draft #26

Zachary L'Heureux Scouting Report

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 2021 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 Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Zachary L’Heureux Scouting Report. 

It was an interesting year for Zachary L’Heureux. Traded last summer from Moncton to Halifax, he delivered on the scoreboard for the Mooseheads. L’Heureux put up 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points in 33 games. He also put up 47 penalty minutes and was involved in a couple of incidents with controversial hits that led to suspensions. Those combined with a mid-season pause due to Covid-19 led to his season being a bit stop and start with long breaks. Despite that, he continued to produce whenever he was on the ice.

The third overall pick in the 2019 QMJHL Draft, L’Heureux had a solid rookie season with the Moncton Wildcats in 2019-20. He led all QMJHL Rookies in points and was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team. L’Heureux scored 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points in 55 games. He also played for Team Canada Black at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. L’Heureux put up three assists in five tournament games.

In 2018-19 L’Heureux scored two goals and six assists for eight points at the Quebec Gold Cup U-16 Tournament. He led Team Quebec Blue to the gold medal.

Zachary L’Heureux Scouting Report

Left Wing — shoots Left
Born May 15th, 2003 — Mercier, Quebec
Height 5’11” — Weight 196 lbs [180 cm / 89 kg]

Skating

L’Heureux is a powerful skater. He has very good lower-body strength and has a low centre of gravity. This gives him excellent balance and the ability to fight through checks and get to the front of the net. It also makes him hard to deal with along the boards and in front of the net. L’Heureux also has very good edgework and agility. His ability to change directions and make quick cuts helps him to get past defenders both with and without the puck. His first few steps are also good as is his acceleration. He has enough explosiveness to be tough to deal with in short races to loose pucks and when heading to the net. However, his top speed is just average. While L’Heureux can keep up with the play and doesn’t fall behind, his speed isn’t really a threat to create scoring chances on its own.

Offensive Game

L’Heureux is a pure goal scorer. He has an excellent wrist shot and a quick release. He also has a good snapshot, slap shot and one-timer. His shots are accurate and powerful. L’Heureux is not afraid to play in the dirty areas of the ice, relishing the battles in front of the net. From there he can score with a deflection, with the quick hands to pounce on rebounds, and by one-timing a pass into the back of the net. He protects the puck well in the cycle game and shows excellent balance when being hit. L’Heureux is also punishing to defenders who have the puck. He forechecks aggressively, creating turnovers and scoring chances.

L’Heureux also has some playmaking ability. His stickhandling is good and he can carry the puck through the neutral zone and create effective zone entries. He is also good at finding the open man and keeping the puck moving with a give-and-go style of play. His passing is good and helps him to keep control of the puck. However he is not the most creative playmaker. His passes are usually short and intended to keep possession and play in straight lines to create scoring chances. He is not one to get too fancy with dekes or make long passes through the seams.

Defensive Game

L’Heureux is also strong defensively. He is willing to play his aggressive and physical style in all three zones, supporting the defence down low and helping to shut down the cycle game. He is also willing to battle opponents on the boards and in front of the net. L’Heureux is effective in bringing back pressure against the rush as well. His positioning is solid and he cuts down passing and shooting lanes. His anticipation is good and he can create turnovers. Once created, L’Heureux moves the puck up the ice quickly, creating chances in transition. He is an effective penalty killer.

Projection and Comparison

If L’Heureux can become a bit more disciplined and improve his speed he can become a top-six winger at the NHL level. He will need a year or two to develop. With his all-around game, he should be an important part of the Mooseheads and Canada’s National Junior team next season. He can be used in all situations, playing on the penalty kill and the power play. With his combination of skill and feistiness, L’Heureux has traits that NHL teams are looking for. Overall, L’Heureux’s game is reminiscent of Brad Marchand. This is a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Zachary L’Heureux that are available on youtube.

Check back tomorrow for our latest NHL Draft Article.

 

Zachary L’Heureux Scouting Report Main Photo:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.