2009 3rd Round Pick Nicolas Deslauriers
Now that the free agent period has died down, we can get back to getting to know your newest Los Angeles Kings draftees. Last time we profiled second round pick Kyle Clifford. This time it’s our third round pick, defenseman Nicolas Deslauriers.
The Kings selected 6 foot, 198 pound defenseman Nicolas Deslauriers in the third round (84th overall) from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Known primarily as an offensive-minded defenseman, Deslauriers scored 11 goals, 19 assists for 30 points for his Rouyn-Noranda team. His plus-3 rating was second-best on his Huskie team.
According to Hockey’s Future staff, who always has great analysis on prospects you’ve never heard of:
“An absolute wizard on the ice, Deslauriers is a pleasure to watch, thanks to his remarkable skating ability. As an offensive defenseman, Deslauriers has the ability to pick up a loose puck in his own zone and lead the counter-attack in the matter of just a handful of strides. Though he sometimes gets carried away with his desire to rush up the ice and be a key part of the offensive attack, Deslauriers’ ability to out skate the opposition and handle the puck with the best of them means he will continue to be an intriguing prospect.”
Mark Haidar, Altantic Canada Scout for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies said to me today in an interview “His best asset is his skating ability. He is extremely agile and his movement is effortless. He loves to carry the puck, sometimes too much though. He can sometimes be caught trying to pull a fancy spin-o-rama with the puck when he should, in all likelyhood, make the simple play.” Though Deslauriers is known for his offense, Haidar remarked “He isnt a powerplay quarterback in the purest sense. He is great at carrying the puck in but once he’s in the zone he doesn’t show a lot of creativity. He has a good shot but his playmaking abilities from the point are only average.” Though there is some development that needs to be done on Deslauriers, Haidar said “he’s great value for a third round choice.”
This was a solid pickup by Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi in the third round. Deslauriers’ final draft ranking was 59, so he fell a bit. Lombardi managed to scoop this offensive-defenseman up. Given our growing arsenal of defenseman, Deslauriers will come through Los Angeles’ system the right way – slowly. Lombardi has managed to draft a solid puck-moving defenseman with great skating skills. Deslauriers can play both as a defenseman and as a forward. His 80 penalty minutes last season shows that he’s not afraid to mix it up a bit. In my opinion, this was a solid draft choice. If you’re heading out to the LA Kings development camp this weekend, and you get a chance to see Deslauriers, leave your impressions in the comments section below.