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A fifth-round pick in the 2015 QMJHL Draft, Pierre-Olivier Joseph was sent back to the QMAAA following his first training camp last year. It didn’t take long for the Charlottetown Islanders to realize their mistake and get Joseph back with their club. He would go on to have a solid rookie season, even if he put up just eight points.
It would be in his second year that his offense broke out and he proved to be a two-way defender with real upside. Joseph put up six goals and 39 points in 62 games this year. He also added a goal and five assists for six points in 13 playoff games.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph is the younger brother of Mathieu Joseph, a fourth round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015. His brother played on Canada’s World Junior Team, and his Saint John Sea Dogs are in the Memorial Cup.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #46
Defense — shoots Left
Born July 1st, 1999 — Chambly, Quebec
Height 6’0″ — Weight 160 lbs [183 cm / 73 kg]
Joseph is a very good skater, and is mobile in both directions. His first step is strong, and he has very good acceleration both forwards and backwards. He also has the top end speed necessary to be able to join the rush, or pinch in at the blue line and also recover when he gets caught.
Excellent pivots and edge work allow him to cover 360 degrees of ice. He keeps himself in front of attackers and maintains good gap control with his smooth skating and his lateral agility. Joseph can also use his agility to walk the line in the offensive zone, and to open up shooting and passing lanes. One area Joseph can really improve, is to add core strength, and lower body strength. This will help him to be stronger on the puck and to win more battles in the corners and in front of the net.
Joseph is a smart player, who can quarterback the play from the point. He has very good vision, and the passing skills to be a play maker. Joseph can make a good pass, both to start the transition game, or to set things up at the blue line. He is poised with the puck on his stick, taking the time to survey the ice and make the right play. Joseph has the patience wait for a play to develop. He has also become more adept at joining the rush, as well as pinching in from the blue line this season.
Joseph keeps his shot low, and gets it on net. This gives his teammates the opportunity at rebounds and tip-ins. However, he really needs to work on the power here. His slap shot and one-timer are both below average in this draft class. In order to be a real offensive threat at the next level, he is going to need to improve this aspect of his game
Joseph’s mobility makes him very difficult to beat one-on-one, and his active stick allows him to play a strong defensive game. He cuts down passing and shooting lanes well. He also creates turnovers with his ability to read the play and his anticipation. Once those are created, he transitions quickly from defence to offence. Joseph’s defensive game will improve as he adds muscle mass.
Projection and Comparison
Joseph projects to be a top four defenceman, if he can continue to refine his game. He must get stronger in battles, improve the power in his shot, and make further refinements to his game. He is a raw talent, but one who could make an impact if he is developed properly. Joseph’s style is reminiscent of Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild. This is a stylistic comparison only though, and not a talent based one.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.
Main Photo via QMJHL.com