NHL Prospects: For Jordan Dumais, the battle isn’t over yet

MONTREAL – Jordan Dumais has either heard the comment or been asked enough times to lose his naivety on the subject.

At the end of a somewhat sober press meeting organized under the Bale Center stands, right after being selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets, the young man from the West Island was asked if he thought that one day, prejudices against mediocre players would fade in size and that teams would stop letting that factor go. influence their decisions.

“I honestly don’t think so,” Dumais said. Every year people say that there are more and more young players making it to the NHL and expect the taboo to fall into the draft. But at the team table, where the scouts are sitting, they will never forget him. Young players will always leave with two strokes against them. »

Here’s, in a few lines, the truth about Dumais: He dominated all players in his age group last season in QMJHL, racking up a whopping 109 points in just 68 games. But due to his stature (5 feet 8 inches, 165 pounds), the love he received didn’t match his production. The most cited example is the National League’s Central Boy Scouts rating of him, which has never ranked him above 72.e Ranking it on his list of North American Best Horizons.

Stéphane LeBlanc, who has a mandate to inspect QMJHL territory on behalf of the Blue Jackets, did not allow himself to be swayed by potential obstacles and managed to convince his superiors that at the end of the third round, Dumais’ qualities were too much to miss.

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“It was the time. The experienced recruit said after Dumais’ name appeared on 96e redo table line.

“It hasn’t been that long since I started watching him closely this year. I thought he showed a huge improvement over last year, so right from the start he caught my eye. But at 5ft 8, we are waiting to see if production is good enough. Sure enough. that his greatness hurt him in the draft, but when I watch him play, I see a man with an elite feel for the game. I see a man who fights hard for the disc despite his small chassis and who also runs without a disc. He is a man with a lot of offensive potential.”

“Worst sound sizeshe is his sizeLeBlanc concludes with his Akkadian frankness. There are good young players… which in my opinion is very good. »

The size of the Dumais shoulder cushions isn’t the only question mark that has kept observers hesitant. His skating also raised suspicion.

“I think he’s a guy with a slightly different skate,” LeBlanc replied. In terms of speed, he’s fine, but I think his technique can be tricky. And by its size, if people have doubts about skateboarding, it can play a role. But to do what he did this year, it takes special talents. It makes you think every player has weaknesses, but when the strengths are big enough to make up for it, I think it’s worth it. »

Dumais admitted saying “a little” when asked if the criticism was merited. But I worked on it all summer, and I’m still working on it. Two to three times a week, I have a trainer just for Ski. All alone on the ice for an hour or two, just working on my steps. I do a lot of work on this. »

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Just donning his hat and jackets, Dumais said he entered the Bell position free from any expectations regarding his pick-up rank. “The only thing I was curious to know is with which team. I’m excited.”

Even if part of his dream had just come true, Dumais had not intended to ditch his hobby horse. Let the Jackets take it for granted, they dug a player who wasn’t done wanting to swallow their words into his mules.

“Throughout my career, I’ve had things to prove. I’ve always had motivation, and I’ve never lacked it. It still holds true today,” Dumais promised.

“When you are similarly young you are always told that. But I think he has the personality to beat that, LeBlanc expects. He is an asset to play with”A chip on your shoulder. I think he has it and I think he would want to show it to everyone. »

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