Some prospects fly under the radar, and that was certainly the case for Frederic Allard. That is, until he hit his stride this season.
You can hardly find the evidence on YouTube, but the Chicoutimi Sagueneens defenceman was a stud, racking up the points and garnering interest from the scouts with each passing month.
He may not have cracked the top 30 in Damien Cox’s final draft rankings, but Allard is a player to look out for.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of his profile.
Age on June 26: 18
Current Team: Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)
Position: Right Defence
Weight: 179 pounds
From: Quebec City, Que.
NHL Central Scouting Rank (North America): 32nd
Jeff Marek’s Take: A tremendously hard working defenceman who does whatever is asked of him. Really enjoys blocking shots and can also put up points.
He’s a complete player
If you want to make it to the NHL as a defenceman, you have to be versatile. Allard has shown he’s exactly that.
“A tenacious two-way defenceman that has a distinct willingness to do whatever it takes to keep his team up,” says the prospect report at eliteprospects.com.
Lastwordonsports.com lauds Allard for his vision and playmaking ability. They also note an improved slapshot and wristshot enabled him to score 14 goals in 64 games this season, which was good for fifth-most among defencemen in the QMJHL.
One giant leap…
Allard was a shell of the player he is now in his first season with Chicoutimi, registering four goals and 19 assists in 61 games. He didn’t fare much better in Year 2, recording two goals and 28 assists in 62 games.
It was unexpected that Allard vaulted to 14 goals and 45 assists this season, finishing tied for second among defencemen in points.
Allard was also named CHL Player of the Week in late January, after recording six points in just two games.
“I changed trainer and also changed everything in my diet with a nutritionist,” Allard told La Presse Canadienne in a French interview. “I wanted to arrive strong for the season. Compared to my other two seasons, I’ve gained more responsibilities by proving to my coach I deserve them.”
He’s a designated leader
Turnover on the Sagueneens roster meant Allard was the only returnee from the 2014-15 edition of the team. Hence, some of that extra responsibility he earned was there for the taking.
In addition to forcing his coach’s hand, Allard assumed a leadership role on the team and was named assistant captain.
“Regardless of whether you’re a first-year player or a third-year player, you always have to show you’re capable,” Allard told Le Journal de Quebec at the beginning of the season. “I took the necessary measures and doubled my efforts just to get the opportunity to play a bigger role this season.”
Clearly, Allard is a team player.
He’s a tough guy
Allard proved quite resilient this season. He was cut by skates on two occasions — the second of which should’ve knocked him out of action for an extended period.
A skate blade to the face shattered his visor and resulted in a 26-stitch cut. Two days later, Allard wrapped himself up, threw on a full cage, and was right back in his position.
He’s a work in progress
There are different aspects of Allard’s game that will keep him from going in the first round of this year’s draft. And though he’s ranked 32nd among North American skaters by NHL central scouting, he may only be a late second-rounder.
Eliteprospects.com says he needs to develop a more reliable two-way game to be even more trusted.
But when you look at the way Allard matured this season, there’s plenty of hope he’ll turn into a reliable NHLer.