NHL Prospect Report

QMJHL Stock Watch: Jordan Dumais has nothing left to prove

The 2024 NHL Draft class is shaping up to be an interesting one in the QMJHL. Exciting prospects like Raoul Boilard and Justin Poirier are emerging, and while Maxim Massé hasn’t produced up to the level of his talent so far, we expect to see a strong second half from him. 

Plus, there’s also Tomas Lavoie, a 6-foot-4, right-shot defenceman who is starting to play like a future NHLer, and Ēriks Mateiko, a similarly sized forward, who is producing well for the Saint John Sea Dogs. 

By the end of the season, if these prospects continue to develop and improve, we could see a few of them selected in the first two rounds. That’s progress for a league that just had a couple of down seasons at the draft. 

In this edition of Stock Watch, we will focus on a few of these draft-eligible prospects. 

Stock Rising 📈

Jordan Dumais, RW, Halifax Mooseheads (Columbus Blue Jackets)

It’s hard to classify what Jordan Dumais is doing in the QMJHL. Technically, he isn’t scoring much more than in previous years, but there’s a limit to how much even the most talented junior players can score. We’re talking about a production pace that is significantly above the two-points-per-game mark here over his last two seasons. That’s rare. So, he still belongs in the Stock Rising category of this exercise. 

Every time he steps on the ice, Dumais reaffirms his status as one of the best QMJHL prospects of the past few years. His points come from the same effective combination of well-planned, controlled movements, and precise and deceptive passes to teammates on the back layers of the attack. And he still has the same knack for scoring around the net by sneaking around defenders. 

He’s just biding his time, dismantling Maritimes formations and filling highlight-reels until he can move on to the AHL.

Ēriks Mateiko, RW, Saint John Sea Dogs (2024 NHL Draft)

NHL scouts are certainly watching Eriks Mateiko closely this season. His numbers jump off the page; not only his production, 26 points in 24 games, but also his high ice time and towering frame. At 6-foot-4, Mateiko has what it takes to earn a long career as a disruptive force in the NHL. And his season with the Saint John Sea Dogs, he’s honing the skills he would need to fill that role.  

He’s taking pucks off the wall, screening goalies at the net, and putting in the effort defensively. We’re seeing him make more and more plays in tight pressure, too. As he shows a clear understanding of how to support plays, position between checks, and get passes in favourable spots on the ice, he will probably feature somewhere on our board at the end of the season. 

He remains more of a project pick at this stage, however. Like other players of his size, Mateiko needs to develop his skating ability. 

Raoul Boilard, C, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (2024 NHL Draft)

Elite Prospects Dir. of North American Scouting, Mitch Brown, wrote about Raoul Boilard a few weeks ago, calling him the potential best prospect out of the QMJHL this season. 

With every game Boilard plays, that status is getting clearer and clearer. Not much is missing in his skill set. He already plays the game like a professional. He reloads high and safeguards his team when they're stuck deep in the offensive zone or on the verge of losing the puck. He tracks back hard through the neutral zone and picks up the right coverage in the defensive zone. And his passing game shines in transition, especially when he's placed with some of the team's best skill players, like Justin Poirier

He knows his next play before getting the puck, and with his 6-foot-2 frame and handling skills, he can hold defenders at bay and keep possession to let plays develop.

As he boasts some impressive tools and a solid two-way game, he will probably feature in the first round of our next board.

Honourable Mentions: Justin Gill (New York Islanders), Mathieu Cataford (Vegas Golden Knights)

Stock Steady ↔️

Maxim Massé, RW, Chicoutimi Saguenéens (2024 NHL Draft)

At this stage, however, it’s Maxim Massé, not Boilard, who remains the top QMJHL prospect. That said, his place at the top isn't as solid as it once was, with other challengers emerging. 

There are many NHL qualities in Massé's game. He has a power forward frame and a shot that can pierce goalies. And he can make some deceptive plays in the offensive zone, especially when he gets the puck below the goal line. He moves one way and feeds the puck back the other way, creating easy tap-in goals for teammates. 

That being said, Massé's development has slowed down this season. He's scoring at about the same point pace as last season, and while he has the frame to play a physical game, we haven't really seen him become the puck-retrieving, wall-dominating machine he could be in this league. He only seems to perform next to stronger playmakers, who can load up his release. 

Stock Falling 📉

Maxim Barbashev, RW, Rimouski Océanic (New York Rangers)

One of the more talented players in the QMJHL, Maxim Barbashev has more to give than what he showed so far this season. He couldn’t find chemistry with his new formation, the Shawinigan Cataractes, earlier this season, but now, after a second trade in a few months, the power forward has been given a chance to rekindle his game. 

Rimouski is not the most talented formation in the league, but a strong playmaker like Alex Blais could help the Rangers fifth-round pick produce. Barbashev can score from anywhere in the offensive zone if given a chance. His own playmaking game has also improved over the past couple of seasons. He became better at using his teammates and managing the puck.

A strong second half with the Océanic would make everyone forget about his early season slump. At this stage, however, his NHL future remains uncertain due to his noisy stride and lack of agility. 

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Scout's Notebook: Early contenders for the QMJHL's top prospect
Scout's Notebook: Early contenders for the QMJHL's top prospect
This article is about:
NHL Prospect Report 2024 NHL Draft CHL Baie-Comeau Drakkar Chicoutimi Saguenéens Columbus Blue Jackets Halifax Mooseheads New York Rangers Rimouski Océanic Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL Maxim Barbashev Raoul Boilard Jordan Dumais Maxim Massé Eriks Mateiko
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