Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie named AHL All-Star

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
As Oilers fans vie for the likes of Zach Hyman and Evan Bouchard to join captain Connor McDavid at the NHL’s All-Star game, the organization has one prospect heading to the American League All-Star game.
And it’s 2019’s second-round pick Raphael Lavoie.
The 24-year-old is in the midst of an excellent season in his fourth year of pro hockey, scoring 10 goals and 16 points in 20 games as he paces for a career year in all three categories. His goal total leads all players on the Bakersfield Condors, with his point total third to Seth Griffith (17 points in 22 games) and Drake Caggiula (19 points in 17 games).
The strong season has earned Lavoie a look in the NHL, too, appearing in seven games with the Oilers. And while he has yet to hit the scoresheet with any points, he took four shots on goal and laid 11 hits.
On the precipice of breaking into the NHL on a full-time basis, Lavoie landed as the number one prospect in the Oilers system. Here’s some of what Oilersnation prospect guru Bruce Curlock wrote about Lavoie:
Now what needs to be a focus for Lavoie on the next step is his skating. It is not bad. It’s even the plus side of average at the AHL level. However, at the NHL, it is average and his lateral mobility is not great. He will need some improvement there so that he is not constantly attacking defenders that same way (usually outside to inside power move).  The more he can work this into his game, the better chance he will have to play meaningful minutes in the NHL.
Raphael Lavoie has taken quite a journey. It is not completely unique for certain. However, for someone with his size and skill sets, even to be a second-round pick was a bit of a surprise. Does Lavoie have what it takes to play in the NHL? Yes, he does. Can he play the middle-six minutes? I actually believe he can. Why? If he keeps his feet moving and plays responsibly, it is this one gift that could make the difference on a team that needs bottom-six scoring.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

Check out these posts...