The most offensively-reliant defenceman in this draft, Poirier is a dangerous offensive threat
Jeremie Poirier (LD), Saint John Seadogs (QMJHL)
H: 6’1″ W: 190 lbs
Jeremie Poirier is one of the better offensive producers from the backend in the whole draft, his game revolves around his production.
An exciting player to watch as you never really know what is going to happen when he’s on the ice whether good or bad.
GP: 64 G: 20 A: 33 P: 53 +/-: -25
Starting off the season as many players ranked previously, at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, Poirier was a key part of their silver-medal squad adding 1 goal and 3 points in 5 games.
The offensive-minded defenceman had a super productive season for Saint John, scoring 20 goals which ranked 5th among all CHL defenceman and tied with Alex Cotton for the most goals by a draft-eligible defenceman, Poirier has a wicked shot from the point.
Poirier also led all CHL defenceman in shots with 261 shots! Good for 4.08 shots/game, there is no denying the offensive ability of the Saint John defenceman. While the defensive part of the game is where Poirier shows some holes, he finished the season with a -25 rating but the fact he was on a weak Sea Dog plays into that as well.
Poirier also added a nice goal in the CHL Top Prospects game where he scored from his usual position at the point:
With all scouts watching Poirier performed and showed his best asset, his booming shot.
Offence, offence, offence. Poirier is a rover, he can be found all over the ice and is basically a fourth forward when he’s on the ice. This play style can come back to bite him and he’s a big liability on the defensive end in some instances.
Skill alone, Poirier may be the most skilled defenceman in the whole draft, he boasts some of the best hands in the class, a booming shot and solid skating ability, Poirier is dynamic. His defensive game however is what makes Poirier one of the bigger boom/bust players in the whole draft. The Hockey Writers described the harsh reality with Poirier:
"“Defensively, however, Poirier is prone to stepping out of position to better contribute offensively. While this works to his advantage at times, he’s something that he’ll have to work on if he ever wants to make it to the NHL”"
The Sea Dog defenceman can be caught out of position regularly and can leave his defensive partner facing plenty of 2 on 1’s, also sometimes Poirier looks uninterested in his own end which wouldn’t please NHL coaches. If he wants to be an NHL defenceman Poirier will have to improve his defensive game, because if he does, there’s no telling how successful he could be in the big league.
A player like this is exactly what the Senators should go for, a risky boom/bust prospect to take with one of their four second-round selections, it makes too much sense. I’m a little worried however that the Senators don’t like what they see with Poirier and could potentially have him on their do not draft list, but that’s just a hunch.
I think taking a flyer on Poirier would be fruitful, he’s just 18-years-old, time is on his side and most defensive prospects need to work on that side of their game anyway so he’s not as different as people would lead you to believe.