Saturday June 26th turned out to be a good one Montreal Juniors centerman Louis-Marc Aubry. During day 2 of the NHL entry draft in LA, the Detroit Red Wings used their 3rd round draft pick (81st overall) to select Aubry.
Detroit must have liked what they saw in Aubry because they drafted him ahead of his North American draft ranking (87th overall), a list which doesn't include players who played in Europe last season.
Although Aubry is capable of playing as a second line player in the Q, the ceiling of his potential in the NHL would be centering a 3rd line. While Aubry may not be the most talented forward on the Juniors, nobody can deny his disciplined work ethic and strong two-way game. Combine that with his size (6'4" and 186 lbs), which he uses to his advantage, and you have a player with the potential to make the NHL as a solid 2 way checking line forward.
Watching Aubry during the past two seasons I've been most impressed with the attention he pays to the details of the game. It's a rare sight to see him out of breath because he is religious about playing 45 minute shifts. He steps on the ice, works hard for 40-50 seconds, then heads back to the bench, skating as hard to it as he did when he left it.
Getting drafted by the Red Wings should be viewed as a complement for Aubry. Over the years the Wings have proven their ability to identify quality NHL talent, even in the later rounds of the draft (most notably; Pavel Datsyuk - 171st overall in 1998, Henrik Zetterberg - 210th in 1999, Valtteri Filppula - 95th in 2002 and Johan Franzen 97th in 2004). Detroit identifies players they believe are able to buy into their system, a system that puts the team first.
The only downside in being drafted by the Red Wings is, unlike the Montreal Canadiens, they don't rush their prospects on to the big club which can sometimes result in prospects going stale.
Aubry's development over the next couple of years will probably be; 1 or 2 more year of Junior Hockey. Then 2-3 years in the AHL before getting a chance to make his NHL debut.
PARKES REMAINS UNDRAFTED
Unlike Aubry, Trevor Parkes was a dissapointed young man as he wasn't selected during the NHL entry draft. I realize he's a '91 born player (most drafted players were born in '92) and has only played one season of major junior hockey, but I was shocked to see Parkes get overlooked, especially when a player like Cedrick Hanley (Val D'Or forward) gets drafted in the 6th round......terrible.
Parkes was Montreal's most dominent player during the playoffs this spring which followed a strong performance during the season. He has a great shot and quick hands, plus he works like a dog.
The only weakness I've noticed in Parkes game would be his skating. However, while he may not be the prettiest skater, he is an effective skater and I wouldn't say it has a negative effect on his performance.
It'll be interesting to see whether or not an NHL team extends an offer to Parkes to attend their training camp this summer, something often done when quality players such as Parkes are passed over in the draft. Ex-Montreal Junior defenseman David Stich was invited to camps by Chicago, Dallas and New York Rangers during the past three summers. Another example would be recently acquired forward Philippe Lefebvre who was signed by the Montreal Canadiens last summer.