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After being the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 QMJHL Draft, big things were expected from Olivier Rodrigue. The young goaltender has certainly delivered. He took over as Drummondville’s starter at just 16 years old, playing 41 games. This season he stepped up his game, playing 53 games; finishing second in the league in wins (31); fourth in goals-against average (2.54); and putting up a .903 save percentage.
Rodrigue has plenty of international experience. He led Canada to a gold medal at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Tournament. Rodrigue was excellent with a 1.00 goals-against average and .942 save percentage. He was also the starting goalie at the 2018 IIHF Under-18s, putting on a good performance despite the team’s disappointing result. Rodrigue put up the best goals-against average (1.33) and best save percentage (.949) in the tournament. He was also named a top three player for Canada. Rodrigue also played for Team Canada White at the 2016-17 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, and won a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games.
His father, Sylvain Rodrigue, was a goalie for Chicoutimi in the QMJHL and went on to play professional hockey in France.
Olivier Rodrigue Scouting Report
Goalie — Shoots Left — Catches Left
Born July 6th, 2000 — Chicoutimi, Quebec
Height 6’1″ — Weight 159 lbs [185 cm / 72 kg]
Skating and Talent Analysis
At just 6-foot-1 Rodrigue is a bit smaller than the prototypical NHL goaltender. He makes up for this with excellent agility and skating ability. Rodrigue comes out of his net and cuts down angles extremely well. He maximizes his size and gives shooters little room to work worth. His quick backwards skating prevents him from being beaten by a deke as he comes out. His strong edges and good push allow him to move laterally quickly. Rodrigue tracks the puck well and is square to the shooter. He likes to use his stick to poke check opponents as well as to cut down the cross-crease passing lane. Rodrigue has quick legs and takes away the bottom of the net effectively. He gets in and out of the butterfly quickly.
Like many young goalies, Rodrigue could stand to work on his rebound control. It is good compared to other 18-year-olds, but still needs work before being ready for the pros. He also has a tendency to hold his glove hand a little low, which can lead to him getting beaten upstairs. Rodrigue is willing to play the puck, and helps his defence by retrieving dump-ins and getting them the puck in good areas. However, he is not the type to try overly risky plays, or long breakaway passes.
Rodrigue shows maturity for his age. His calm, cool demeanour in net rubs off on his teammates. Rodrigue is a battler in net, who never gives up on the play. He uses his athleticism and quick reflexes to scramble in the crease and make saves that didn’t seem possible. However, once the save is made he is quick to calm things down and be ready for the next shot. Rodrigue also recovers quickly from goals against. His leadership is something that his defencemen lean on, and helps his entire team.
Projection and Comparison
Rodrigue has the potential to be a number one goalie in the NHL, but is still a bit of a project. He will need at least two more years of junior and then some time in the AHL. Rodrigue is a bit skinny right now, and could add some muscle to his frame. This will help him to adjust to the rigours of the pro game. He also needs to clean up a bit of his fundamentals, including his glove hand and rebound control. This is normal for young goalies though, and the potential is certainly there. In terms of style, Rodrigue’s game is reminiscent of Jonathan Bernier, but this is a stylistic comparison only, and not one based on talent or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages of Rodrigue that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
BOISBRIAND, QC – OCTOBER 27: Olivier Rodrigue #33 of the Drummondville Voltigeurs makes a save against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada during the QMJHL game at Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau on October 27, 2017, in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs 2-0. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images Sport)