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Oilers Prospect Update: A Closer Look at Lavoie from Willy Palov

When I wrote last week’s Prospect Update, inexplicably the Russian leagues were still set to go full steam ahead. Even though the two non-Russian teams in the playoff had pulled out, leaving their whole format in shambles. That all changed on March 17th when they too announced they would go on pause until further notice. So the prospect update, will stay stagnant numbers wise until the hockey world starts again. That doesn’t mean all is lost and so I have been working hard to reach out in any way I can to people who have covered these prospects up close over the years.

I heard back from one such source this week in the form of The Chronicle Herald’s Willy Palov. Hailing out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Willy has been able to watch the growth of the Oilers freshest 2nd round pick, Raphael Lavoie for 192 of his 217 QMJHL based games so far. Here is the quick Q&A I did with Willy:

Nation Dan: “Were you shocked to see Lavoie fall as far as he did in the draft last year?”

Willy Palov: “Yes I was. He has first-round size and skill, perhaps even Top 15. The Oilers got a real steal at that position.”

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ND: “You have had the chance to watch players such as Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Martin Frk, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Timo Meier up close over the years. What comparable parts of those players games would you say you see in Lavoie, if any?”

WP: “He is a first-shoot player like Marty Frk. He rarely takes slap shots but his wrist shot is already at a pro level. Both players get a lot of power on their shots but Frk might have the most velocity in all of hockey so few can match him in that regard. One quality Raphael has that the others don’t is a massive reach. It’s very difficult to get the puck off his stick.”

ND: “The Mooseheads traded Lavoie this season, knowing you understand the Q closely, what was his value compared to other players? Did the ChicouSagueneens pay a ransom for him?”

WP: “Draft picks rarely have a wow factor in trades but the Mooseheads did well to get such a generous package in return, especially since they are in a full rebuild. I’m not sure I would describe the price the Sagueneens paid as a ransom compared to what they gave up for Dawson Mercer but Lavoie is a graduating player, while Mercer will be back next year so that factors into the difference in prices.”
ND: “What did you think of Lavoie’s World Junior play this year?”

WP: “Raphael contributed well with the ice time he was given. He could have produced more in a top six role but it’s always a challenge fitting everyone into those positions on Team Canada because of the annual depth.”

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ND: “What is the number one thing in Lavoie’s game to watch for?”

WP: “He is excellent at skating the puck into the offensive zone and getting the puck to the net, either with a dangerous wrist shot or as he drives the net off the wing.”

ND: “What is the number one peeve that fans would want Lavoie to work on?”

WP: “I’m always hesitant to discourage any shooter to take fewer shots because getting pucks on net is so important. So I think Raphael should continue to take a lot of shots but put in some work on hitting the net more frequently and getting shots past blockers.”
So there you have it, a view of Lavoie from someone who covered him in the Q for years. I would really like to thank Mr. Palov for taking the time to answer my questions and hope to be able to bring you similar looks in the coming weeks.
Let me know who you want to know about or maybe even who you want to hear from. I will try my best to do it!
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Playoffs Suspended

Name (Active) Pos. GP G A PTS This week’s total
Maxim Denezhkin – Loko Yaroslav  (MHL (Russia)) C 3 2 3 5
Anton Slepyshev – CSKA Moskva (KHL) L/R 4 2 3 5
Name (Active) GP GAA SV% Record This Week’s Results
Ilya Konovalov – Yaroslav Lokomotiv (KHL) 5 3.64 .888 2-2-0 2 Starts, 4-2W with 26 saves and 5-1L with 29 saves

Bakersfield Condors – AHL SEASON SUSPENDED

Name (Active) Pos. GP G A PTS This week’s total
Tyler Benson LW 47 9 27 36
Colby Cave C 44 11 12 23
Josh Currie RW 53 22 17 39
Sam Gagner C/W 4 2 2 4 traded to Detroit
Joe Gambardella LW 50 12 14 26
Markus Granlund C/W 20 6 9 15
Gaetan Haas C 2 1 1 in the NHL
Cameron Hebig C/W 31 3 4 7
Tomas Jurco
L/R 8 4 3 7
Brad Malone C/LW 49 13 18 31
Cooper Marody C 30 5 12 17
Kirill Maximov RW 53 5 8 13
Ryan McLeod C 53 5 17 22
Nolan Vesey LW 8 1 1
Kailer Yamamoto LW 23 8 8 16 in the NHL
Matt Benning RD 3 1 1 in the NHL
Evan Bouchard RD 54 7 29 36
Logan Day RD 48 6 10 16
Caleb Jones RD 14 3 8 11 in the NHL
William Lagesson LD 25 3 7 10 in the NHL
Keegan Lowe LD 56 1 6 7
Brandon Manning LD 21 9 9
Ryan Mantha RD Out Indefinitely – Blood Clot
Joel Persson RD 24 2 13 15 traded to Anahiem
Dmitri Samorukov LD 47 2 8 10
Players Notes/Articles/Highlights –
Name (Active) GP GAA SV% Record This Week’s Results
Dylan Wells 7 3.77 .878 1-4-0 in the ECHL
Shane Starrett 14 3.63 .874 5-6-1
Stuart Skinner 41 3.31 .892 13-16-5
Players Notes/Articles/Highlights –

Wichita Thunder – ECHL SEASON CANCELLED

Name (Active) Pos. GP G A PTS This week’s total
Cameron Hebig C/W 20 6 10 16 in the AHL
Ostap Safin LW 54 16 19 35 2GP 1-1-2
Nolan Vesey LW 15 2 4 6 in the AHL
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Players Notes/Articles/Highlights –
Name (Active) GP GAA SV% Record This Week’s Results
Dylan Wells 10 4.98 .871 2-5-1 1 Start, 7-3L with 26 saves
Angus Redmond 20 2.55 .907 15-2-0 2 Starts, 6-3W with 22 saves and 4-3W with 29 saves
Stuart Skinner 3 3.62 .894 2-1-0 In the AHL
Players Notes/Articles/Highlights –

EUROPE (regular season)

Name (Active) Pos. GP G A PTS This week’s total
Matej Blumel – HC Dymano Pardubice – Czech SEASON ENDED RW 33 6 3 9
Maxim Denezhkin – Loko Yaroslav  (MHL (Russia)) C 55 19 26 45
Jesse Puljujarvi – Karpat (Liiga) SEASON TERMINATED RW 56 24 29 53 3GP 1-0-1
Patrik Siikanen – JYP (Liiga) SEASON TERMINATED L/C 50 11 9 20 1GP 0-1-1
Anton Slepyshev – CSKA Moskva (KHL) L/R 54 18 27 45
Bogdan Yakimov – Severstal Cherepovets (KHL) C 59 9 10 19
Filip BerglundSkelleftea AIK (SHL) SEASON CANCELLED RD 52 5 15 20 2GP 0-0-0
Philip Broberg – Skelleftea AIK (SHL) SEASON CANCELLED LD 43 1 7 8 2GP 0-0-0
Markus Niemelainen – Assat (Liiga) SEASON TERMINATED LD 54 1 6 7 1GP 0-0-0
Players Notes/Articles/Highlights –
Name (Active) GP GAA SV% Record This Week’s Results
Ilya Konovalov – Yaroslav Lokomotiv (KHL) 40 2.45 .912 14-18-6
Players Notes/Articles/Highlights –

CHL – SEASON SUSPENDED (Regular season cancelled)

Name (Active) Pos. GP G A PTS This week’s total
Raphael Lavoie – Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) C/R 55 38 44 82
Players Notes/Articles/Highlights –
Name (Active) GP GAA SV% Record This Week’s Results
Olivier Rodrigue – Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) 39 2.32 .918 30-7-1
Players Notes/Articles/Highlights –

America (NCAA, USHS-Prep, Etc.)

Name (Active) Pos. GP G A PTS This week’s total
Skyler Brind’Amour – Quinnipiac U. (NCAA) CANCELLED C 34 4 9 13
Tomas Mazura – Kimball Union Academy (USHS-Prep) CANCELLED C 39 14 62 75
Graham McPhee – Boston College (NCAA) CANCELLED LW 34 5 7 12
Aapeli Rasanen – Boston College (NCAA) CANCELLED C 34 11 13 24
Matthew Cairns – Cornell U. (NCAA) CANCELLED LD 19 1 1
Philip Kemp – Cornell U. (NCAA) CANCELLED RD 31 3 8 11
Michael Kesselring – Northeastern U. (NCAA) CANCELLED RD 34 2 3 5
WORLD JUNIORS
Name (Active) GP G A PTS This week’s total
Matej Blumel – Czech Republic 5 1 1
Raphael Lavoie – Canada 7 2 2
Philip Broberg – Sweden 7 1 1
Players Notes/Articles/Highlights –
Name (Active) GP GAA SV% Record This Week’s Results
Olivier Rodrigue – Canada

Thank you, as always for reading. Let me know in the comments below what player you’re watching for the most. Who has shocked you so far, and how amazing Brad Malone is.

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