Coincidence?

Maxime Gratchev has been the hottest player on the Lewiston MAINEiacs.  How about another player that has been hot for the team?  Eric Gelinas has had a decent stretch lately.  He has three goals and three assists in the last six games.  That’s outstanding for a 17-year old defenseman.  Ed Harding has forget he’s only 17.

“One thing we are working with Eric, he has still be safe with the puck.  As you see him jump in on the play, he has a strong stride.  I think in the last five or six games, he’s trying to lug the puck more.  He’s playing a lot of minutes for a 17-year-old.  We don’t realize that’s he’s 17.   We think he’s older,” said Harding.

His recent play coincides with him being ranked the seventh best player from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the upcoming NHL Draft.  When I spoke with him at the beginning of the season he wasn’t paying attention to the draft.

“I am not thinking about it during the season.  I want to focus on my season and not the scouts.”  His agent is keeping him informed on what NHL executives are thinking. “My agent has told me there’s a chance that I will be drafted,” said Gelinas.

For some reason I think he has because he has turned it on.  He already has 19 points which matches his season totals last year.  He’s growing right in front of our eyes.  He’s making me quickly forget Kevin Marshall because I believe he will as good as Marshall next season when Marshall was an 18 year old.

Out of the defenseman that will be available from the QMJHL for next year’s draft, you have to put Gelinas in the top four.  Leading the way is Dmitry Kulikov of Drummondville.  The Russian is tearing up the QMJHL with 4 goals and 22 assists.  Simon Depres of the Saint John Sea Dogs is another defenseman.  He’s a different breed as he’s a defensive defenseman.  Charles-Olivier Roussel, of Shawinigan is been benefiting from Shawinigan’s offense.  He has 8 goals and 16 assists.

That’s My Take

(Nathan also started “The World of Junior Hockey Blog” and is a contributor to the Maine Hockey Journal His email is fourniern@students.nescom.edu.)

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