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The sixth overall pick in the 2017 QMJHL Draft, Nathan Legare put up a huge season with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. With 45 goals, he finished second in the league. His 87 points in 68 games were also enough to place him second on the team, and top-10 (8th) in the QMJHL in scoring. Legare spent most of the season on the top line with San Jose Sharks prospect Ivan Chekhovich and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Gabriel Fortier. Unfortunately, his playoffs were not quite as good. Legare scored just three goals and one assist as the Drakkar were eliminated in seven games in a first-round upset at the hands of the Moncton Wildcats.
Following his team’s elimination in the QMJHL playoffs, Legare joined Team Canada at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. He was given a leadership role as an alternate captain for the team. He put up four goals in the seven-game tournament. It was not the first time that Legare has represented his country. Last season he played for Team Canada White at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. Legare scored two goals and one assist in six games.
Nathan Legare Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born January 11th, 2001 — Montreal, Quebec
Height 6’0″ — Weight 201 lbs [183 cm / 91 kg]
Legare could stand to improve his skating. His top-end speed is merely average. While he has a good first few steps, his overall acceleration is also mediocre. Legare has good agility and edgework. He can weave in and out of traffic and uses his ability to change directions to avoid defenders. Legare is strong on the puck. He uses a wide base to his stride, which gives him excellent balance. His stride is powerful and he is able to fight through checks, hooks, and holds. He is also strong along the boards and in front of the net. This should continue to improve as Legare matures and adds muscle to his frame.
Legare is a natural sniper. He has an outstanding array of shots. His wrist shot is close to NHL ready. It is strong as well as accurate. It also features a very quick release. He also has a very good snapshot. Legare finds a way to get open inside the faceoff dots and converts teammate’s passes when they get him the puck. Legare is not afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice and has the quick hands to finish in close. He is willing to play a physical game. Legare also forechecks effectively, forcing turnovers and creating offensive opportunities.
Legare can also play the role of playmaker. He controls the puck well down low, protecting it in the cycle game and creating opportunities for teammates. Once an opportunity presents itself, he can make a slick tape-to-tape pass through a tight area. Legare generally plays a straight line, north-south game but will also occasionally use a slick deke combined with his agility to get around a defender.
Legare is willing to use his size and physicality in his own end of the rink as well. However, he needs to be more disciplined. Legare has a tendency to abandon his position, chasing the puck and looking for a big hit. He needs to be coached to maintain his position and continue to cut down passing and shooting lanes. Legare shows plenty of effort in his end of the ice. He has good size and an active stick. With proper coaching, this is an area of his game that can be improved.
Projection and Comparison
Legare could become a top-six forward if he can continue to develop and reaches his ceiling. His skating will need to improve so he can keep up with the play at the NHL level. He will also need continued work on his defensive game. However, Legare has the size, smarts, and shot to score goals. If he can improve his footwork, his team could end up with a draft day steal. Legare’s game is similar to Anders Lee. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on his skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Nathan Legare that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect in our NHL Draft series.
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