NHL Draft: Nathan Gaucher and Maveric Lamoureux drafted 22nd and 29th respectively

MONTREAL — Maveric Lamoureux wiped tears from his cheeks on Thursday as he covered the distance to the leaders of the Arizona Coyotes. They had struck a deal with the Edmonton Oilers to bring him into the family by the 29the draft pick.

“My legs wanted to let go when I heard my name,” said the likeable Drummondville Voltigeurs defenseman. At first I didn’t really get it. There I understood that it was me, everyone started screaming. That’s when I realized it was really happening. It’s my childhood dream come true. »

Colleague Stéphane Leroux reported that Coyotes chief executive Bill Armstrong traveled alone to Boisbriand last May to watch Lamoureux during a match in the series between the Armada and the Voltigeurs.

At the end of a night he also defeated forward Logan Cooley (3e) and Morgan Geekie (11e) Armstrong credited the discovery to Larry Pleau, a former general manager of the St. Louis Blues who now serves as an advisor to the Coyotes.

“Larry is a longtime mentor. He saw Lamoureux and loved it, the DG said. [Maveric] is a big player and his game can be inconsistent but Larry and our Quebec scouts kept talking about it and pushing him. He had good results in the combine and he’s a guy that fascinates us. But it’s a project, it will take him some time to put all the pieces together. »

In numerous interviews given over the past few months, Lamoureux (6’7″, 199 lbs) has compared himself to St. Louis Blues defender Colton Parayko, a 6’6″ Wall who played in the 2012 third round was drafted. Armstrong, who was head of amateur scouting for the Blues at the time, drew the parallel himself on Thursday.

“He’s a smart kid,” he replied with a grin when told his new prospect agreed.

Lamoureux won his bet to be the first QMJHL guard selected in 2022. Gatineau Olympiques’ Tristan Luneau and Noah Warren were seen as those who could potentially steal that award, but they must return to the Center Bell stands on Friday to find out their next target.

Lamoureux’s draft may not yet be complete. His good childhood friend, Sudbury Wolves forward David Goyette is also still available after being passed over in the first round. “I don’t know what the next steps are, but if I can I’ll definitely come back to encourage him,” the friendly guy planned.

Left-handed the first Quebecer

Midway through the second lap, Nathan Gaucher felt the nervousness. And the closer the Anaheim Ducks got, the harder his heart beat.

His pinky told him he could be the California squadman. He had three meetings with his superiors and “we got on very well during the interviews. So yeah, I was a little more stressed about the Anaheim decisions,” admitted the first Quebecer to hear his name over the Bell Center speakers Thursday.

Gaucher, who was counting on a convoy of sixty people in the stands, will have avoided any unpleasant surprises. NHL Central Scouting ranked him 16the was among the top North American prospects and his exit was scheduled for the end of the first round. His name finally came out of a hat when he was 22e Rank.

The tall redhead received a hearty round of applause as he walked over to shake hands with Commissioner Gary Bettman. “You don’t notice the supporters who screamed, who clapped. You’re like, ‘Okay, are these screams for me?’ ‘ he looked in disbelief again.

The Ducks are nearing the end of a rebuilding cycle that should start showing results soon. The 2022 draft was the fourth straight in which they had a top 10 pick.

Gaucher joins one of the deepest pools of hopefuls on the Bettman Circuit. His name joins those of forwards such as Isac Lundestrom, Trevor Zegras, Jacob Perreault and Mason McTavish. Quebecers Benoît-Olivier Groulx and Maxime Comtois are also part of the project, which has been taken over by new general manager Par Verbeek.

“They have a lot of talented players, capabilities, so I think I can complement that with my physical strength, playstyle and work ethic. I think I’ll be a good ‘fit‘” the tall middle man expected from the Quebec Remparts, who was named one of the top defensive forwards in the QMJHL last season.

“They have a very good future and I find that exciting.”At the end‘. »

“I am very happy”

“The legs wanted to let go! »

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