Photo Credit: Sébastien Gervais / Blainville-Boisbriand Aramada
Scouting Report written by Josh Tessler
Alexis Gendron is a 2022 NHL Draft eligible prospect and he plays for the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
Gendron is from Côteau-du-Lac, Quebec (~45 minute drive south of Montréal and right next door to Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec).
His father, Martin Gendron played in the NHL. Martin was drafted by the Washington Capitals and played in 30 NHL games for the Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks. After a couple of seasons in the NHL, Martin crossed the pond and played for several clubs in Europe including the Frankfurt Lions, EHC Olten and HC Bolzano. After his playing career, he turned to scouting. He scouts for the Philadelphia Flyers and had previously scouted for the Minnesota Wild.
Alexis played bantam hockey for the Lac St-Louis Grenadiers and midget hockey for Collège Charles-Lemoyne Riverains. He was selected in the seventh round of 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft at pick #119 by the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Gendron made his QMJHL debut the following season.
D.O.B – December 30, 2003
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2022
Weight –174 lbs
Position – Right Wing
Handedness – Left
Gendron’s Style Of Play
Gendron does an excellent job using the space that is given to him. If he doesn’t have a ton of open ice in front of him to utilize, he will pass underneath the stick blade of the attacker when the attacker tries to close in on him when Gendron is skating into the offensive zone along the boards. He will pass underneath the triangle / the stick blade on long range and short range passes. In addition to utilizing the space that he is given, his decision making is quick. If he has a quality passing lane to use, he doesn’t think twice.
Gendron is always scanning and looking for good passing lanes to leverage. When driving up the wing and he spots a teammate with more speed coming down centered ice, he will complete a quality feed to that teammate. He loves to find passing lanes to the backdoor. But, he isn’t picky. Any passing opportunity to high danger is good with Gendron. When he picks up possession of the loose puck behind the net and looks to skate around the net, he looks for potential passing lanes to high danger even very tight ones. He won’t get the puck to his teammate every single time but he is looking for the danger areas. When skating up towards the slot, he looks to pass to high danger areas. Again he doesn’t always connect but is looking to pass to open attackers at the doorstep.
When facing tight pressure along the boards, he will try behind the back long range passes to the slot. It doesn’t matter if the pressure is air tight or not, Gendron is looking to get the puck into high danger. In situations with extremely tight pressure, he doesn’t always net a pass completion but I love that he is trying to get the puck down low.
When looking to shift around an attacker and gain separation to get further into the offensive zone, he will look for the moment in which the attacker extends his stick blade out towards the puck and then Gendron pushes the puck to the other side. It allows him to move around with ease.
When on the forecheck, I’d like to see Gendron to work on cutting to the inside more consistently when going after loose pucks. You will see him struggle to push past the attacker in tighter battles. He has the speed from his skate extensions that allow him to get into the position to win puck battles, but he just needs to work on pushing in with his upper body towards the attacker’s shoulder to force the attacker to sit on the outside looking in.
Gendron has excellent range on his shot. He can generate snap shot goals from medium danger, deliver wrist shot goals from the perimeter, capitalize at the doorstep after setting himself up at the backdoor and he has good puck manipulation at the crease that forces the goaltender to open up gaps for him to use. Gendron gets height on shots from range and transfer his weight over his knee to net the power he needs to rip shots.
While he does possess a great shot, Gendron works hard to create those goal scoring opportunities. He does so even when he doesn’t have possession of the puck. For instance in a late April game against Gatineau, I noticed that he was constantly scanning and looking for oppositional puck watching. When he sees the opposition puck watching, he skates to the backdoor and no one saw him except for his teammates.
He won’t be rather assertive when defending. That’s just not his style, but he does a good job of grabbing a hold of loose pucks and driving the rush out from the defensive zone.
His vision allows him to track puck movement and then he adjusts his positioning to get himself in range to connect with the loose puck. When in range of the loose puck, Gendron needs to work on being more assertive and sneaking inside when facing a larger attacker. I’d like to see Gendron use his upper body to push into the attacker’s shoulder and move them away from puck. Box them out.
But, Gendron has shown that he can be assertive on attackers that have a similar build. He will cut inside, grab control of the puck, pivot out and then make a pass. Check out this clip of Gendron having to cut inside twice on the same attacker, then he grabs separation and scores under the blocker.
Gendron uses his stick extremely well when defending. If he is skating behind an attacker who has the puck, he will stick lift and try to annoy the puck carrier with his blade. When defending at the point, he looks to extend his stick blade out to eliminate a passing lane that the oppositional defenseman could use to pass to the other defender. Gendron also works the boards and looks to pick on vulnerable attackers who seem to struggle with generating space with their stick-handling. He will cut inside and poke check.
When Gendron has control of the puck in his own zone, he looks to complete a zone exit pass instead of skating the puck from zone to zone himself. When he doesn’t have a lot of space as an attacker is closing in on him, Gendron will pass underneath the triangle. He doesn’t just go under the triangle. He will go over the triangle as well with long range saucer feeds when pressure closes in on him and he is looking to get the puck to an open teammate in the neutral zone. His spacial awareness allows him to be incredibly sneaky.
While he does possess quick decision making in the offensive zone when looking to get the puck into high danger areas, he does seem to struggle with consistent quick decision making in his own zone. By waiting a tad too long, sometimes when pondering he is next move, he will allow the attacker to realize that there is a gap and seal it up.
When defending in the neutral zone and not in position to put pressure on the oppositional puck carrier, he can utilize a few lengthy skate extensions to get himself in range to put pressure on the attacker. When he gets in range, he will extend his stick out to put pressure on the attacker and force the attacker to dump the puck in. Even though he has speed, if the defender at point doubles back out of the offensive zone, if the defender can pick up speed in the neutral zone, he can easily get around Gendron and carry the puck back in the offensive zone. Gendron will struggle with keeping himself aligned when attackers use pivots. He will pivot out as well, but he will be slightly late with when he implements the pivot and that allows the attacker to net open ice.
When hunting for loose pucks in the neutral zone, Gendron can rely on his puck tracking and speed to get himself in position to claim those pucks. It all starts in the defensive zone. In the defensive zone, he sees that his teammate is getting ready to dump the puck out of the zone, so he skates in the neutral zone to find open ice to provide a north-south passing lane. After collecting the puck, he will skate into offensive zone and put a quality shot on net.
Gendron does a good job with activating his speed with length skate extensions in the neutral zone to win the puck cleanly and then cuts in front of the last defender before scoring top shelf at net front.
When it comes to his decision making / processing, he will on occasion hold onto the puck for slightly too long when he had pressure closing in on him. He ends up losing passing lanes that he could have used to get the puck away from danger or to get the puck further up in the neutral zone and closer to the blue line. Gendron needs to be slightly quicker with his decision making because if he doesn’t, he will more than likely end up losing possession.
Gendron’s skating makes him elusive. He has good posture, lengthy crossovers and excellent straight line speed. When he accompanies stride extensions with lengthy crossovers, he can get up to maximum speed. That blend allows him to hunt after loose pucks and get himself in position to key up passing lanes quickly for his defenders who are looking to complete a stretch pass. Gendron loves using his lateral crossovers behind the red line to wrap around the net. His crossovers can manufacture the speed needed to catch the opposing goaltender and other attackers off guard. By doing so, he can open gaps to exploit with a well-timed pass or shot. When hunting for loose pucks, Gendron will rely on his crossovers to activate speed off the hop after completing a turn. His activation off of turns paves the way for quality forechecking behind the red line and in the corners.
Gendron does a good job of leaning on his edges and can pivot out to create space for himself when he has possession of the puck. The only time in which he struggles with his pivots is when he is defending, but that has more to do with reaction timing than his ability to pivot out.
In terms of a projection, I can definitely see Gendron being effective in a middle six role at the NHL level. He has the speed and vision to consistently get himself in the right spots in the neutral zone to gain control of the puck and then gain separation from attackers to create a breakaway opportunity or an odd man rush. On top of that, he has the desire to penetrate the slot with pass after pass to create high danger opportunities.
The next step in his development is to become slightly more assertive and physical to get himself in position to pick up loose pucks when facing an attacker with a bigger build. If Gendron can acquire that assertiveness, he will earn more and more ice time.
June 23, 2022
stats from InStat 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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