Hope you all had a good Independence Day yesterday! The Devils Draft Prospect Series continues today with two more 2016 draft picks; I took a look at Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian yesterday, two OHL and hopefully two NHL teammates. Don’t forget to look through the “Draft Prospect Series” tag for the 2017 draft picks.
The New Jersey Devils selected C Brandon Gignac 80th overall in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry-Level Draft. The 19-year old Canadian center checks in at 5′ 11″ and 172 pounds. He’s played four seasons with the Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) and played two games with the Albany Devils (AHL) this past season. Here are some of his stats:
He had 66 points (23 goals, 43 assists) in 65 total games with the Cataractes this past season and he was named a QMJHL All-Star. He finished third on his team in scoring during the regular season; both top scorers had 75 points each. 22 of Gignac’s 62 points came on the power play. He also finished fifth on the team in playoff scoring.
The season prior, Gignac had 61 points in 67 regular season games and 16 points in 20 playoff games, including a few big goals. He finished 7th on the team in regular season scoring and 8th in playoff scoring. He had 41 penalty minutes and 19 power play points during the regular season.
Gignac has 201 career QMJHL points in 279 career games, averaging about 0.72 points per game. He’s also picked up a fair number of penalty minutes.
The Devils did sign Gignac to a three-year, entry-level contract this past November and because he’s going to play the 2017-18 season with Binghamton, there’s a good chance that they’ll bring him up for some NHL games.
Here are some of his highlights:
I think Gignac is a great pick. He was chosen a little higher than he was projected to go but if the Devils wanted him, they took him before someone else could. He has the ability to be an NHL-scorer and he’s a versatile player. He can score goals and create them. His size is a bit small but that’s something he can work on. He’s valuable in power play situations; he helped Shawinigan have the 6th best power play in the league at 23.2% (they also had the fewest power play opportunities in the league).
I’m really excited to see what he does in a full year with Binghamton. He played just two games with the A-Devils last season but didn’t find his way onto the score sheet. I’d also like to see him get called up to New Jersey at some point even if it’s just to play a few games without his entry-level contract kicking in. He has the potential to be a great power forward, and a little growth and development could do wonders. I’m excited to watch him play at both development camp and in Binghamton.