Photo Credit: Andre Emond
Hendrix Lapierre hails from Gatineau, Quebec and played youth hockey (Midget & Bantam in the Gatineau Intrépide system. In his 2017-2018 campaign, he competed in his first and only season in the QMAAA (Ligue de hockey Midget AAA du Québec) and tallied the fifth most points in the league. Lapierre recorded 13 goals and 32 assists in 35 games played. Due to his performance with Gatineau, he won the hearts of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens front office as they took him with the number one overall selection in the 2018 QMJHL Draft.
In his rookie season in the QMJHL, he recorded 13 goals and 32 assists in 48 games. His offensive production paved the way for Lapierre to win the Offensive Rookie Of The Year award.
After the season was complete, he suited up for Team Canada in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup alongside many top 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospects including Alexis Lafrenière, Quinton Byfield, Cole Perfetti, Mavrik Bourque and Seth Jarvis. Lapierre was lights out at the Hlinka Gretzky as he scored three goals and netted eight assists in five games. The Gatineau native recorded the second highest point totals in the tournament and was just one point shy of tying Perfetti as the leader point-getter. Once the Hlinka Gretzky concluded, many draft analysts had Lapierre high up on their draft boards, but his QMJHL season was not as rewarding. Lapierre sustained multiple injuries including a concussion (there are rumors that he had multiple), shoulder injury and a neck injury. At the end of the day, he only played in 19 games for Chicoutimi. During his shortened season, he mustered up two goals and 15 assists.
But, we have more data on Lapierre. My good friend, Will Scouch (@Scouching) of Scouching.ca tracks draft eligible prospects and compiles a plethora of data on each prospect. In the image below, you can check out the data that Scouch has on Lapierre.
From Scouch’s data, we can draw several conclusions about Lapierre. The centerman is consistently accurate with his passes and he creates plenty of scoring chances from his passing (71.43% – PassThreat%). But, his Pass Attempts per 60 and percentage of pass attempts directed at or through high danger areas is quite low. From a shooting perspective, he does not complete a lot of high danger shot attempts nor does he take that many shots either. Lapierre’s iDSAT/60 (Individual Shot Attempt per 60) is on the lower end. While his passing and shooting numbers might seem very low, Lapierre is most effective in transition. He is stronger when controlling the puck and creating zone entries versus completing controlled zone exits, but his 47.83% DCZT% (Defensive Control Zone Transition Percentage) is not half bad.
D.O.B – February 9, 2002
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Weight –181 lbs
Position – Center
Handedness – Left
Lapierre’s Style Of Play
As mentioned earlier on, Lapierre is highly efficient in transition. With his solid stride extension and recovery, Lapierre keeps his skates tight and they do not extend too far out past the torso. Lapierre utilizes crossovers to help accelerate up the ice, but you will notice that he prefers to use his right foot over his left foot when completing crossovers. There are times where Lapierre will shorten his extension, but when he has open ice, he tends to showcase a wide extension to help ignite his speed. His speed is essential when transitioning up the ice.
In addition, Lapierre is a solid stick-handler. He is not flashy, but gets the job done. Quality puck movement is always essential to a strong transitional forward. Lapierre will implement solid stick-handling to weave around defenders in his own zone. So, do not just assume that he uses stick-handling to create magic in the offensive zone. He will use his hands to help navigate around traffic and create a breakout. Yet, there are moments where we see Lapierre struggle with stick-handling. On occasion, you will see Lapierre attempt to swing the puck around a defender, but he does not manage to swing the puck far enough to avoid coughing up possession.
In the offensive zone, Lapierre is a dynamic passer. As we saw in Scouch’s dataset, he is fairly consistent when completing a pass. But, he does not just deliver tape-to-tape feeds, he will complete quality cross ice feeds and centered passes.
Aside from his passing, like Mavrik Bourque of the Shawinigan Cataractes, Lapierre pulls defenders towards him on the cycle. The centerman is well-aware that defenders tend to gravitate to him and because they do it allows Lapierre to show off his stellar playmaking ability. In addition, when defenders are positioning themselves close to the vest, Lapierre finds ways to create room to breathe. He will execute tight turns and pivots along the boards to throw off the defender.
In terms of Lapierre’s shot, he simply is not known for it. As we saw in Scouch’s data, Lapierre prefers to pass versus shoot. So, if you are expecting Lapierre to be more level, he is not your man. But, we have seen the centerman light up the lamp. When shooting, Lapierre prefers to be in the low slot and will more than often use his snap shot.
Given that Lapierre is strong in transition, he can also deliver on the rush/breakaway. At the Hlinka Gretzky, on the penalty kill, Lapierre managed to gain possession of the puck after a challenge in neutral zone, skated into the offensive zone and netted a goal to the left of the Czech net-minder.
Aside from stick-handling and his shot, I would like to see Lapierre improve his defensive play. He is far from aggressive, so you will not often see Lapierre back check. Instead, he has a more laid-back defensive approach. That approach will not mesh well at the NHL level. Lapierre needs to be puck hungry to excel in the NHL. Next season, I would like to Lapierre address his aggressive play and become more involved in the defensive zone. If Lapierre can start working on his boards play and identify lanes to shut down, the sky is the limit.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Center, Edmonton Oilers
Like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Lapierre is a quality playmaker. He will always be a pass first forward and pulls defenders to him, which paves the way for open teammates and plenty of opportunities to thread the needle.
stats from Scouching.ca and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
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