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Drafted 20th Overall in the 2016 QMJHL Draft, Alexis Gravel immediately took over the starting goalie job for the Halifax Mooseheads despite being just 16-years-old. With an .894 save percentage over 50 games, Gravel was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie team. He was even better in the playoffs, putting up a .924 save percentage, but the Mooseheads fell in six games.
Despite some injury issues, Gravel had a solid second season for Halifax. He put up a 3.38 goals against average and .890 save percentage. In the playoffs, the Mooseheads would make the second round, with Gravel putting up a .917 save percentage over eight games.
Gravel has plenty of experience representing Canada internationally. He won a gold medal at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He also won a silver medal at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games. Gravel was an unused third goalie at the 2017 World Under-18 Hockey Championships.
Gravel’s father, Francois Gravel, was a third-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 1987. He never made the NHL though, topping out in the AHL before eventually playing pro hockey in Europe. Alexis was actually born in Germany while his father was playing overseas.
Alexis Gravel Scouting Report
Goalie — Shoots Right — Catches Right
Born March 21st, 2000 — Berlin, Germany
Height 6’3″ — Weight 220 lbs [191 cm / 100 kg]
Skating and Talent Analysis
At 6’3″ and 220 pounds, Gravel already has the frame needed to be a pro goaltender. Gravel is a strong skater. He can get out of his crease to cut down angles, making full use of his frame and giving shooters little to look at. Gravel can back up quickly, taking away the ability to deke him. He also tracks pucks well but could stand to work on his lateral push. Gravel sometimes looks awkward when moving side-to-side. He also needs to adjust his stick position and close off the five hole. These adjustments would really help his game. He gets into and out of the butterfly quickly. Gravel has strong, quick legs that take away the bottom of the net. His glove hand is also particularly strong.
Gravel is particularly good at controlling rebounds for a young goalie. While this area is always something that young goalies can continue to develop, Gravel is ahead of the game for must teenage goalies. When there are second-chance opportunities, he does a good job of keeping his body square to the puck and being ready to make the second save.
Gravel also needs to work on playing the puck. That said Gravel is not one to venture out of his crease to play loose pucks, preferring not to take chances.
Gravel is willing to battle in the net. He fights through traffic and does not get rattled by it. He also never quits on a play. There are times where technique goes out the window and Gravel uses every ounce of athleticism to scramble and find some way to make a save. He will need to work on forgetting about bad goals though. When things go wrong for Gravel, they can sometimes spiral out of control. This is one area that may come with more maturity.
Projection and Comparison
Gravel has the potential to be a top goaltender in the NHL. He has the prototypical frame and many of the skills necessary. Like many young goalies though, this is a gamble, as he will take several years before being NHL ready. There are certainly some areas to work on, including consistent. Gravel’s style is similar to Marc-Andre Fleury, however, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages of Alexis Gravel that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
BOISBRIAND, QC – OCTOBER 15: Alexis Gravel #1 of the Halifax Mooseheads reaches for the puck during the QMJHL game against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada at the Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau on October 15, 2016, in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defeated the Halifax Mooseheads 4-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images Sport)