To get the skinny on the best 2017 NHL Draft–eligible players in the three CHL loops, we went straight to the top and talked to an NHL team’s scouting director. Here’s what he had to say on the QMJHL.
Maxime Comtois, LW, Victoriaville Tigres
6-foot-2, 200 lb.
13 GP, 5-3-8, 17 PIM
“I’m expecting Comtois to score 50 to 60 goals in the ‘Q’ this year if he stays healthy and has a halfway decent team around him. He’s a pure scorer, a power forward. He’s a little like [2016 No. 3–overall pick] Pierre-Luc Dubois—not in any aspect of the game but in how he broke through.
“At about the same time last season when Dubois shot up like no one saw coming, Comtois was an entirely different player than Victoriaville thought they had. He’s a kid with a big body, pro size at almost six-foot-three, but those who had seen Comtois in midget AAA thought he didn’t have any physical aspect to his package.
“In ‘Victo,’ they asked him to play a more physical game, and he adapted. It took him a couple of months, but he really came around. He reminds me of Rick Nash at the same age, although he’s ahead of where Nash was as a skater. Blake Wheeler is another comparable, although Wheeler progressed a lot more after he was drafted and when he was in the league. I’m not convinced he’s a first-line guy [in the NHL] just yet—I’m on the conservative side, and I’d have to see him sustain for the entire season.”
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