Late in round one, the Nashville Predators traded their two second-round picks (40th and 51st overall) to the Carolina Hurricanes for the 27th overall pick. With that pick, Nashville selected forward Zachary L’Heureux of the Halifax Mooseheads.
L’Heureux is a stocky, 5’11” forward who put up 19 goals and 39 points in 33 QMJHL games this season, finishing second on the Mooseheads in scoring. Among draft-eligible QMJHL skaters, L’Heureux led them in primary points per game (1.00) and was second in even-strength primary points per game (0.697) this season.
He sat at 28th in my final draft board, and saying he plays with a chip on his shoulder is an understatement. He was suspended multiple times this season (from incidents like flipping off opposing fans after a game to spitting at a player) but leaves absolutely everything on the ice. He’s got a unique blend of skill and tenacity that excites and frightens you. His puck touches are very good, and he can distribute sneaky passes in tight or across the zone.
He’s patient in handling the puck and can outwork or freeze defenders when he’s at his best, carving easy paths to the net. He’ll need to work on discipline and shift-to-shift consistency, but he can be electrifying in the offensive zone.
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com.