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NHL Prospect Report

QMJHL Stock Watch: Maxim Massé's strong February rebuilding his draft stock

Scoring is down in the QMJHL this season. Collectively, teams have scored about 200 fewer goals relative to this team last year. That means fewer points to go around for top prospects that we're used to seeing put up gaudy counting stats.

The 'Q still has its offensive drivers, though. Nobody seems capable of stopping Justin Poirier, who’s now rapidly approaching 50 goals with a few games left. He has generated 18 percent of his team’s goals this season. That’s more than Zachary Bolduc and Joshua Roy last season, who were both in their final year of QMJHL action.

The league could also see two more 100-point scorers this season: Antonin Verreault and Justin Gill. Finally blossoming into a creative playmaker after a couple of disappointing seasons, Verreault seems all but assured of reaching that mark. 

In this edition of the QMJHL Stock Watch, we break down the performances of some of the league’s most noteworthy prospects. 

Stock Rising 📈

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

Maxim Massé's 17 points in 10 games in February are a welcome change of pace after an up-and-down start to the season. 

His game hasn’t changed, but he’s playing a better version of it. We see more power forward moves from him near the net. As the puck comes to the area, he pushes back against defenders to create space for himself and act on it. His physical skills and strength also shine along the boards. The battles he wins lead to direct scoring chances and help keep the puck in control of his team. 

Massé has many NHL projectable tools. Those will continue to impress scouts, especially when he uses them effectively. His ability to make one-time passes and catch-and-release them could also earn him a role on an NHL power play in a few years.

Such a strong performance in February should stop his fall in some rankings and maybe even help him climb back up a bit.

Vsevolod Komarov, RD, Drummondville Voltigeurs (Buffalo Sabres)

After another great month, during which he scored 12 points in 12 games, Vsevolod Komarov leads the QMJHL in points from the blue line.

His offensive touch was evident even as far back as his draft year, the first he spent in the league with the Québec Remparts.. Defenders would come up to pressure him at the offensive line, not knowing his abilities, and would fall to one of his timely shot fakes. Two years later, Komarov is pulling off even more of these moves. 

A true quarterback for the Drummond Voltigeurs, the defenceman has guided the team on their win streaks. He dangles, distributes the puck, and fires. And his impact has also extended to the defensive zone, where his strength, stature, and length shine. 

The question is if Komarov can become more than a great QMJHL defencemen. He has NHL tools and shows some creativity, but to give himself a better chance of reaching the top league, he will have to develop his mobility and reads. 

Stock Steady ↔️

Andrei Loshko, RW, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (Seattle Kraken)

Maybe Andrei Loshko should feature in our Stock Rising category, considering he has 15 points in his last 10 games. That's a clear improvement on his point-per-game point to start the season. But we expected a bit more from the center,  especially now that he’s playing for a relatively strong Rouyn-Noranda formation.

Loshko now has enough talent around him to make his playmaking game shine. He understands when and how to take advantage of space and how to build scoring chances with short, skillful passes. He hooks them under sticks and around skates. And he can finish plays himself in the offensive zone with precisely timed drives to the net. 

His stature, developing defensive game, and feel for off-puck play will help him earn a contract from the Seattle Kraken, but his case would be strong with a better statistical profile. 

Samuel Savoie, LW, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (Chicago Blackhawks) 

Samuel Savoie spent the last five months rehabbing a leg injury suffered in the preseason with the Blackhawks. That’s precious development time spent on the sidelines, but the good news is that he seems to be back in full form in the QMJHL. 

The injury doesn’t seem to have diminished his speed or desire to play a physical game. He runs up and down the ice, crushes opponents, and drives the net, just like he did before. That’s the kind of gritty game that enticed Chicago to select him in the third round of the draft and sign him to an early entry-level contract. The only difference is that he’s now pulling off these plays in a Rouyn-Noranda Jersey instead of a Gatineau Olympiques one, following a move at the trade deadline. 

There is still untapped offensive potential in Savoie’s game, too. So far, he's recorded 13 points in 12 games, but it’s likely that these numbers will receive a boost when he shakes off the rust. The winger has a playmaker’s vision and he can pull off some impressive passing plays from time to time. 

He should become a key piece for the Huskies as they head to the playoffs. 

Stock Falling 📉

Noah Warren, RD, Victoriaville Tigers (Anaheim Ducks) 

In his draft year, Noah Warren flashed offensive qualities and even a projectable puck-moving game at times from the backend, but those parts of the game were never really his calling card.

We expected him to develop that side of his game at least slightly; however, as he matured in the QMJHL, he developed into his frame and learned to use his physical gifts. But it hasn't really happened. He didn't register a single point in February and only has nine total on his sheet this season in 42 games. 

He still has all the tools needed to become a powerful NHL shutdown defenceman. That's the role we envisioned for him, but most players who end up reaching those heights scored more regularly in junior. They imposed their will over their opposition not just with their strength and mobility, but also by controlling the play more often.

There are reasons to remain optimistic about his game. Given the rawness of his game, his development was always going to take longer than for most defencemen. The Ducks' development team may be the best at transforming toolsy defensive prospects into NHL regulars.

You may also be interested in:
Elite Prospects' January top 64 prospects 2024 NHL Draft ranking
Elite Prospects' January top 64 prospects 2024 NHL Draft ranking
This article is about:
NHL Prospects NHL Prospect Report Anaheim Ducks Buffalo Sabres Chicago Blackhawks Chicoutimi Saguenéens Drummondville Voltigeurs Rouyn-Noranda Huskies Seattle Kraken Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL Vsevolod Komarov Andrei Loshko Maxim Massé Samuel Savoie Noah Warren
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