The first QMJHL instalment of the Sportsnet CHL Saturday Showcase sees the Rimouski Océanic (18-10-2-0) visit the Sherbrooke Phoenix (17-11-1-1) in a battle of two teams playing good hockey of late.
Led by top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Alexis Lafrenière, the Océanic visit Sherbrooke with wins in eight of their last 10 games. Their 127 goals are tied for fifth in the league while the club’s 33.3% power play tops the charts.
Lafrenière leads the Océanic in scoring with 51 points (17-34–51) over 30 games while right-hand man Jimmy Huntington (23-21–44) trails close behind with 44 while also riding a 10-game point streak. Puck-moving overage defenceman Charle-Edouard D’Astous has done an effective job running the Rimouski power play and leads QMJHL blueliners in scoring with 41 points (9-32–41).
While Lafrenière and Huntington have served as consistent producers for the ‘Nics up front, speedy Calgary Flames prospect Dmitry Zavgorodniy (17-21–38) can also break open a game. Zavgorodniy, who starred with Russia in the CIBC Canada Russia Series, has points in six of his last seven outings.
The host Sherbrooke Phoenix has won seven of their last 10 contests, getting big contributions from former Rimouski forward and Alex-Olivier Voyer who leads the team with 33 points (18-15–33). Top 2019 NHL Draft prospect Samuel Poulin (14-17–31) has also turned heads. The son of former NHL forward Patrick Poulin represented the QMJHL in the CIBC Canada Russia Series and is an ‘A’ rated prospect for the draft next summer.
The Phoenix will have their hands full against a Rimouski team that has been one of the Q’s top road teams with a 9-3-2-0 record away from home this season.
Be sure to catch all of Saturday’s action live across the country on Sportsnet, throughout Quebec on TVA Sports as well as in the United States on NHL Network when the puck drops at 3:30pm ET.