CHL on TSN: Five players to watch — Sagueneens @ Olympiques

The surging Gatineau Olympiques (42-12-6) visit the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (30-29-3) in the final CHL on TSN broadcast of the regular season.

In 2023, the Olympiques are an incredible 21-2-1 and sit second in the QMJHL’s Western Conference with 90 points. The return of Olivier Nadeau (BUF) from injury and the additions of Alexis Gendron (PHI) and Riley Kidney (MTL) via trade have taken the Olympiques’ offence to new heights as they chase a first Gilles Courteau trophy since 2008.

The Sagueneens have secured a playoff spot for the 22nd straight season and currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference. One of five times in the East with at least 30 wins, Chicoutimi will seek its first Q title since 1993-94 when the QMJHL playoffs open.

The two sides met last night where Gatineau collected an 8-2 win behind a pair of goals from Nadeau. The Olympiques will seek a season sweep tonight after they outscored the Sagueneens 15-5 over two games late last month.

Ahead of tonight’s 7:00pm ET / 4:00 pm PT puck drop, here are five players to watch.

Zach Dean — Gatineau

It’s been quite a season for Dean who has set new career highs offensively, won a World Juniors gold medal and saw his NHL rights traded.

Dean’s 25 goals and 56 points are new career highs while he is a +27 in 42 games. The fourth overall pick by Gatineau in the 2019 QMJHL Draft, Dean is nine points from cracking the franchise’s top 50 scoring list.

At the 2023 World Juniors, Dean had three points (1G, 2A) in seven games while ahead of the NHL trade deadline, the former 30th overall pick in 2021 saw his rights traded from Las Vegas to St. Louis.

Andrei Loshko — Chicoutimi

The 104th ranked North American skater ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft, Loshko has turned in a career year in his sophomore QMJHL season.

A former first round pick in the 2021 CHL Import Draft, the Belarus native’s 44 assists and 65 points leads the Sagueneens.

Tristan Luneau — Gatineau

It’s been a remarkable season from the blue line for Luneau (ANA) who leads all QMJHL defencemen in scoring with 69 points.

That total also places him fifth on Gatineau’s single-season record for points by a d-man where Jiri Fischer’s 78 points in 199-99 stands as the franchise’s best.

Luneau’s 17 goals are also tied for the QMJHL lead among blueliners while his +41 rating ranks fourth, as do his 21 power play assists.

The 53rd overall pick by Anaheim in the 2022 NHL Draft, the Victoriaville, QC., native is three assists shy of 100 for his career and was the winner of the QMJHL Rookie of the Year in 2021.

Maxim Masse — Chicoutimi

There’s no doubt that Masse has been the best rookie in the QMJHL this season.

Still just 16, Masse has 29 goals and 58 points to lead all Q rookies in both categories while his 29 assists trail only Baie-Comeau’s Matyas Melovsky’s 41.

Riley Kidney — Gatineau

Since being acquired by the Olympiques ahead of the 2023 QMJHL trade deadline, Kidney (MTL) has been nothing short of sensational with the Olympiques.

In 21 games since his Gatineau debut Jan. 6, he has 51 points (12 goals), the second most in the QMJHL in that time frame. After he was held pointless in his Olympiques debut, Kidney has tallied a point in every game since and has 15 multi-point outings.

After he recorded 100 points a year ago with Acadie-Bathurst, the Canadiens prospect is four points shy of the century mark again while he is seven assists short of 200 in his QMJHL career.

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