Ottawa Senators Prospects: Maxence Guenette has Solid Season in Val-d’Or

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 22: Maxence Guenette poses after being selected 187th overall by the Ottawa Senators during the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 22: Maxence Guenette poses after being selected 187th overall by the Ottawa Senators during the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

A seventh-round selection in 2019, Guénette looks to surpass draft status

Most seventh-round picks don’t pan out in the NHL, but Maxence Guénette will look to be an exception to his draft position.

After having a solid season in his draft year, playing 68 games, with 8 goals and 32 points playing on a very poor Val d’Or squad who’s goal differential was an abysmal -97.

Guénette finished the season with a -33 rating, but wasn’t really to blame for the hefty minus, since his whole team was sitting in a similar spot. While good enough to get drafted, the promising defenceman was hoping for more, especially after a solid performance in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup before the season started.

The defenceman out of Val-d’Or was ranked much higher in some scouting services pre-draft rankings, such as 108th by and 150th by Future Considerations. There is reason to believe Guénette can outplay his draft status, as some services saw him as a fourth and fifth-round selection, rather than a seventh-round pick.

Senators scout Christian De Blois thought very highly of Guénette and The Hockey Writers believe he can be a steal for Ottawa:

"Guenette could end up surprising, and the Senators seem to really like him already. As scout Christian De Blois told the Ottawa Sun, “He’s a tall defenceman who can move the puck very well and he’s a good skater for his size. We just thought he had a lot of offensive upside as a late-round pick at that point. Basically, I think he has a good chance of being a good hockey player down the road. He’s one of the best Quebec-born defencemen in his age group. That’s a plus for him. We really liked him at that point.”"

The Senators prospect was relatively raw when he was drafted but had all the framework to potentially blossom into an NHL player.

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2019-2020 Season

After being selected Guénette would head directly to Senators rookie camp, where he could develop his skills and become familiar with his future teammates.

Then came the rookie showcase where Guénette was one of Ottawa’s better players. Leading the Senators in points in the game versus the Jets where he grabbed 3 assists:

After the tournament Guénette would head to Senators training camp where he would appear in a few preseason games and would even be paired with star defenceman Thomas Chabot in some instances.

Guénette would of been hard pressed to dream up a better start for the Senators, from being a contributor on the Senators undefeated rookie showcase team, to looking solid in a few preseason games with the big club.

Fresh off of being drafted, spending training camp in Ottawa and being selected as an Assistant Captain for the Foreurs, Guénette had a ton of momentum entering his third season in the QMJHL.

While Val d’Or struggled through another season, finishing tied third last in the QMJHL in points, Guénette improved significantly from the previous season, on both sides of the ice. The 2019 seventh-round selection had 11 goals and 40 points in 62 games and was also only a -11 on a Foreurs team which had a -40 goal differential. Guénette led all Foreurs defenceman in goals and points as well as being their best defensive presence on the back end.

Guénette also made an appearance on the QMJHL All-Stars who played in the Junior Super Series versus Russia where he was one of the better defenceman on the team.

The Senators prospect also set his new career high in points in the QMJHL with 33 points in just his 55th game where he scored 2 goals, as he finished off the season strong.

2020-2021 Season Outlook

The Val-d’Or Foreurs defenceman will have an opportunity to build off his career season and make a name for himself in junior hockey.

After showcasing himself in the Junior Super Series, Guénette will look to advance himself even further in the national ranks when he will vie for a spot on the World Junior team. While he doesn’t have the highest of chances to make the team, after playing in the Hlinka Gretzky in 2018 and competing in the super series last season, the Senators prospect should at least demand an invite.

While heading to Val-d’Or for his fourth-season with the team, Guénette will be undoubtedly the best player on the Foreurs and should lead the young team to an improved season in 2021.

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