With the 47th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, the Nashville Predators used their second round pick on defenseman Samuel Girard of the Shawinigan Cataractes.
Here’s what the experts have said about him leading up to the draft.
Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
18, 5’9”, 161 lbs.
The Hockey News: #56
Future Considerations: #27
Central Scouting: #38 (North American skaters)
Craig Button, TSN Director of Scouting: #27
Bob McKenzie, TSN: #45
Dan Friedman of Dump & Chase: #36
“Girard not only led all QMJHL defencemen in scoring; he had more assists than the next best blueliner had total points, making his selection as the league’s best defenceman an easy one… Girard picks up the majority of his points due to his tremendous skating ability, vision, puck skills and hockey sense. ‘I’m not sure there’s a better puck-carrying blueliner in the Q or in the draft,’ noted one eastern conference scout.”
The Hockey News
“Another in a long line of undersized but offensively talented players in this draft, Girard is a player constantly making things happen on the ice. Unfortunately, not all of those things are good for his team. ‘He’s a fun guy to watch,’ said a scout. ‘He might not be a fun guy to watch if you’re his coach but he brings you out of your seat.’”
“He is a very mobile offensive defender who plays a smart and competitive two-way game. He possesses very good game vision and hockey sense, and moves the puck effectively to forwards or if time and spaces allows, will rush the puck. Really worked hard at both ends of the ice, with a good stick and body positioning. He lacks the size and strength to be effective in defensive zone. Long term project, but the offensive upside is worth the wait.”
“A flashy offensive defenceman that takes advantage of opportunities and is always looking to make an impact each shift. Works very hard and isn’t afraid to play the body. Skates with exceptional exuberance and fluidity. Accurate release on his shot and a good eye for open passing lanes. Proactive defensively and puts the pressure on the opposition. Needs to have a more active stick and a more felt presence in shooting lanes, but he has shown a willingness to learn, and these skills will develop.”
“Very much like Cam Dineen, Girard’s an undersized but highly-gifted offensive-defenseman, albeit not as sound without the puck as the former. He skates extremely well, which is imperative both because of his stature and for any aspiring NHL puck-mover. And boy, can he move that puck around.”