Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We're almost a full month past the QMJHL trade deadline therefore the final rosters are set for the playoff season. Over the course of this week, HockeyPoints will take a look at the league's top 5 playoff contenders and how they stack up against each other in preparation for a playoff run. We start today with number #5.

#5 - The Drummondville Voltigeurs:

With top prospect Sean Couturier leading the way anything is possible. The Volts are lead by Couturier who has 24 goals and 71 points in 41 games played this season. Most importantly he carries a +36 plus/minus rating and therefore has a dominant impact at both ends of the ice. If Drummondville are to upset any of the higher ranked teams Couturier would be a major reason for that.

Third year captain Marc-Olivier Vachon is still contributing offensively with 17 goals and 41 points in 48 games played this year. The experience gained by Vachon during the 2009 Presidents Cup and Memorial Cup runs make him invaluable to Drummondville. This captain will need to be at his best.

Right winger Ondrej Palat rides shotgun to Couturier on the team's #1 line and has 32 goals and 72 points in 44 games this season. He's been getting hotter and hotter all season long and his offensive production is very impressive. Evidence of this is clear as he scored points in 30 of his last 32 games played.  With Couturier, Palat ranks among the league's top 5 point getters.

Wingers Jonathan Brunelle (15G and 45Pts in 51GP) and Pier-Antione Dion (18G and 30Pts in 51GP) provide the Volts with energy and depth scoring from the wing position. Both play with an intense style of game that will be most valued during the playoff grind.

On defense Drummondville looks to Jean-Philippe Mathieu to spark their offense. He's enjoying a fine season with respectable while producing 10 goals and 33 points in 51 games played.

Overall outlook:

The Voltigeurs playoff success will rely on their ability to play a structured, hard working game. They must play disciplined and stay out of the penalty box. When playing 5 on 5 they're able to compete with the best teams in the league. The Guy Boucher influence still runs strong in the veins of this team and it'll need to be pumping at full tilt come March if Drummondville wishes to raise the Presidents Cup in 2011.

Tomorrow we'll unveil the #4 ranked team.


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