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In 2017-18, Raphael Lavoie broke out with a strong second season in the QMJHL, putting up 30 goals and 33 assists for 63 points in 68 games with the Halifax Mooseheads. He was also impressive at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships with five goals in five games for Team Canada. This season, Raphael Lavoie continued his momentum with 32 goals and 41 assists for 73 points in 62 games. He was one of the final cuts for Team Canada before the World Junior Championships. Lavoie won the Mike Bossy Trophy, given to the QMJHL player judged to be the best professional prospect.
Lavoie has taken his game to another level in the QMJHL playoffs, putting up 13 goals and seven assists for 20 points in 11 games. Despite a disappointing regular season, Halifax has turned it on and powered through the first two rounds of the playoffs with relative ease. The Mooseheads now await the determination of their opponent in the QMJHL Semi-Final. With the Mooseheads set to host the Memorial Cup, Lavoie will get the opportunity to show off his abilities to a large audience ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft.
Raphael Lavoie Scouting Report
Right Wing/Centre — shoots Right
Born September 25th, 2000 — Chambly, Quebec
Height 6’4″ — Weight 198 [193 cm / 90 kg]
Lavoie is a strong skater for his size. He has a good first step and acceleration, as well as the top end speed to pull away from defenders and create breakaways and odd-man rushes. He also has very good agility and edgework, giving him the ability to beat defenders both with and without the puck. Lavoie is tough to knock off the puck, with excellent balance. He has a wide skating stance, giving him a low centre of gravity. His stride is powerful and he can fight through checks and get to the net. His size also makes him tough to contain in front of the net as well as giving him a big advantage in battles along the boards. Lavoie will need to continue to add muscle to his frame in order to continue to play this style of game going forward.
Lavoie has the size and skills to be a power winger. He is also a natural sniper. Lavoie has an excellent wrist shot and quick release. He also has a good snapshot and a hard slap shot. Lavoie is also good at getting to the front of the net where he has the soft hands and good hand-eye coordination to finish in close to the net with rebounds and tip-ins. He also has good stickhandling ability and protects the puck well. He handles the puck well, even while moving at full speed. This allows him to cycle the puck down low and control the pace of the game. If an opportunity presents itself he can take the puck to the front of the net.
He also has the vision and passing ability to play the role of playmaker. Lavoie’s ability to cycle the puck allows him to extend plays and wait for teammates to get open. He sees the ice well and can find the open man, even when he is in traffic. His quick hands can open up passing lanes and he sees the ice well enough to find a teammate.
Lavoie has received criticism of his defensive game over the years but that has really improved this season. He plays his tenacious puck pursuit game in all three zones, backchecking and battling for pucks in his own end. Lavoie is not a huge hitter, but he is actively involved in the physical battles for the puck. He is also not afraid to block shots, and uses his big frame to effectively cut down on passing and shooting lanes. Once he is able to gain control of the puck, he transitions quickly to offence.
Projection and Comparison
Lavoie has the potential to play all three forward positions and has spent time at each spot in the QMJHL. He projects as a winger at the pro level. He has an intriguing combination of size, speed, power, and skill that will ensure that he goes early in this June’s draft. Lavoie’s game is reminiscent of Rick Nash, but this is not a talent comparison, merely one based on style.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Raphael Lavoie that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
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