There is a lot of excitement for the 6′, 210 lbs left winger of the Barrie Colts.
Brenden Lemieux came as part of the package Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, and Jason Kasdorf. Since Tyler Myers and Bogosian are similarly used defenders, many look at as Lemieux, Joel Armia, a then rental (Drew Stafford), and a first round pick (Jack Roslovic) for Kane and Kasdorf.
We continue our summer prospect profile series, checking in at #12.
Here is Lemieux’s Player Cohort Success over the since his pre-draft eligible season:
PCS% is the percentage of similar players in height, league, scoring, and age that made the NHL, while PCS points per game is the production typical of those that did make it.
Lemieux started the season in the USHL, but –due to some disagreements– left for the Ontario Hockey League after only eleven games.
In his draft-eligible year Lemieux scored nearly a point per game pace, earning him a PCS percentage of 15. The combination of scoring, skill, size, and the last name caused Lemieux to be drafted 31st overall, the first selection in the second round.
In his third seasons in the OHL, Lemieux scored over a point per game, although his PCS percentage only raised slightly as his scoring was comparatively similar given an additional year of development. For context to Lemieux’s approximately 15 and 16 per cent PCS ratings, Chase De Leo from the same draft class posted PCS percentages of 18 and 9 per cent. (To read more on Chase De Leo’s PCS performance click here)
Lemieux’s spent most of his 18-year-old season on the Colts second line, although there were times where he was on the team’s third line at even strength. There Lemieux scored 14 goals and 12 assists, meaning he scored 27 goals and 5 assists on the power play. The Colts also controlled only 46 per cent of goals with Lemieux on the ice, while they controlled 61 per cent with him on the bench.
While Lemieux does have desirable talent, and many of the tools that projects him as a competent bottom-six piece in the future, there are some red flags in Lemieux’s production.
Lemieux’s production growth almost came exclusively from power play goals, where he played on the top power play unit as the net-presence guy with OHL superstars Andrew Mangiapane, Kevin Labanc, and Joseph Blandisi.
The combination of large increase in power play goals, a gap in goals in assists, and not much increase in even strength production, suggests that much of Lemieux’s scoring increase may have come from opportunity rather than development.
Regardless Lemieux is still a bonafide prospect, and a good one at that.
At the very least, he needs another year in the OHL to refine his game, and may need a year or two in the AHL. Lemieux needs to work on areas in his game, with the largest one being discipline. Everyone loves the pest on their team, but a pest who penalizes their team more often than the opponent is one that is hurting the team, not helping
Here are some highlights of Brenden Kichton 2014-2015 season, courtesy of Jets Nations’ own Anthony Lenting: