March 26, 2024

Draft-eligible Justin Poirier nets major QMJHL award

Justin Poirier has some hardware to haul into the offseason.

Poirier, No. 78 in FCHockey’s Midterm ranking for the 2024 NHL Draft, is the first-ever recipient of the Mario-Lemieux Trophy as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s top goal-scorer.

“What makes Poirier such a fearful scorer is the frequency at which he puts himself in shooting spots or situations and the versatility of his scoring ways,” Quebec-based FCHockey scout Joey Fortin Boulay said. “He’s an avid and smart shooter. He’ll exploit give-and-goes, he’ll roam in the slot for catch-and-releases or he’ll crash the net to jump on rebounds. He’ll also use defenders as screens and rip shots bar down or he’ll even use a deadly one-timer from the flank. He’s a true all-fashion finisher.”

Poirier, the first 17-year-old to score 50 goals in the QMJHL since Sidney Crosby accomplished the feat with the Rimouski Oceanic in 2004-05, finished the season with 51 goals — six more than Markus Vidicek of the Halifax Mooseheads. He scored two hat-tricks and 11 two-goal games over the course of the season in which he played in all 68 games.

In total, Poirier finished the regular season with 82 points (51 goals, 31 assists) and a plus-40 rating with 68 minutes in penalties.

“Poirer has been surprisingly low on most consensus lists all season long and, even with his massive goal-scoring production this season, he hasn’t been much higher lately,” Fortin Boulay said. “Yes, he’s only 5-foot-8, he’s not the best without the puck, and his compete level is inconsistent, but he’s a special offensive talent that should deserve early rounds attention on draft day.”

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