QMJHL 2023-24: Faces in different places
As seems to be the norm in the QMJHL, general managers were busy during the offseason as a multitude of trades were made in preparation for the 2023-24 campaign.
Notably, a number of NHL prospects were on the move this summer as teams added dynamic playmakers to boost their chance at a Gilles Courteau Trophy.
With that being said, here are five QMJHL faces in different places:
Maxim Barbashev (Moncton → Shawinigan)
After three years with Moncton, Maxim Barbashev (NYR) will have a new home in 2023-24.
Acquired Aug. 1, Barbashev is coming off of a breakout year in 2022-23 as he set career highs in goals (32), assists (33) and points (67). He punctuated his season with a Game 7 overtime winner against Baie-Comeau in the first round of the Q playoffs.
Shawinigan’s leading scorer a year ago was 16-year-old Felix Lacerte who tallied 52 points so expectations will be that Barbashev will lead the charge offensively for the 2022 QMJHL champions who ranked 12th in goals scored a year ago.
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) April 12, 2023
Ethan Gauthier (Sherbrooke → Drummondville)
The first QMJHL player selected at the 2023 NHL Draft, Gauthier (TB) was acquired by Drummondville at the QMJHL Draft in June for a haul of draft picks.
The winner of the Mike Bossy Trophy in 2022-23 as the Q’s best professional prospect, Gauthier had 30 goals and 69 points a year ago with Sherbrooke.
He’ll be expected to spearhead a Voltigeurs attack that was eliminated, ironically by the Phoenix, in the second round of the playoffs a year ago as they chase a second Gilles Courteau Trophy.
Gauthier’s trade to Drummondville is also a homecoming; his father, Denis, played four seasons for the Volts while Gauthier himself was raised in the area.
Justin Gill (Sherbrooke → Baie-Comeau)
With a changing of the guard in Sherbrooke, Gill will have a new home this season after a standout 2022-23 campaign.
Gill finished ninth in QMJHL scoring with 93 points last year and the price for his services was expensive; the Drakkar parted with a first (2023) and second (2024) round draft pick to acquire the 20-year-old.
Gill will spearhead a Baie-Comeau offence that already boasts Matyas Melovsky and Justin Poirier as they look to get out of the first round of the QMJHL playoffs for the first time since 2015. To do so, they’ll need to improve on their 205 goals scored last year, a number that was tied for the fourth fewest in the QMJHL.
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) October 1, 2022
Jeremy Langlois / William Rousseau (Quebec → Rouyn-Noranda)
We’re cheating by lumping Langlois and Rousseau as one but their impact in the Huskies lineup this season will be substantial.
Both were part of Quebec’s Gilles Courteau Trophy and Memorial Cup championship squad from last season where they were each instrumental contributors. Langlois (ARI), who was acquired from Cape Breton at the QMJHL Trade Deadline, had 33 points (eight goals) in the regular season with the Remparts and logged important minutes throughout the postseason.
Rousseau won 35 games during the regular season and then went 16-2-0 in the playoffs. At the Memorial Cup, he shutout Seattle in the final and was named the tournament’s most outstanding goaltender and was selected to CHL Memorial Cup All-Star Team.
The Huskies have loaded up as they begin the quest for a third Gilles Courteau Trophy – they also acquired Andrei Loshko (SEA) from Chicoutimi – and it shows; they’re the no.1 ranked team in the CHL Top 10 preseason rankings.
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) May 30, 2023
Noah Warren (Gatineau → Victoriaville)
A youth movement has begun in Gatineau and because of that, the Tigres were one of the beneficiaries.
Victoriaville, who won 40 games a year ago but fell in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs, added Warren (ANA) at the QMJHL Draft for three draft picks as the Olympiques begin to build for the future.
Injuries limited Warren to 46 games last year but at his best, he is one of the Q’s premiere defencemen.
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