Despres named Q’s D-man of the Year

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The Penguins top defensive prospect, a first round pick in 2009, Simon Despres is tearing up the QMJHL in what will be his final junior season.
 
The 19-year-old finished the 2010-2011 regular season posting 41 points (13 g, 28 a) in 47 games, and adding a +/- of +29.
Despres represented Canada in the most recent World Junior Under-20 Championships.
 
Jamie Tozer of Station Nation, who covers Despres' St. John Sea Dogs junior team, gives Wilkes-Blog readers everywhere this detailed scouting report:
 
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Name: Simon Despres

Position: Defense

Currently: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

Progress: One of the top defensemen in the QMJHL; shutdown role on Team Canada’s world junior team

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Expectations: Almost started the season with the Penguins this past fall and could make the club next year if there is room for him. A year in the AHL could be beneficial, though.

 

Drafted: 1st round (30th overall) by Pittsburgh Penguins (2009)

Acquired: Through draft

Shoots: Left

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 214

Player Type: Low risk, shutdown defenseman

NHL Comparable: Marc-Edouard Vlasic

 

Evaluation: 

Every year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, there is a small group of 19- and 20-year old players who dominate every game. Simon Despres is one of those players.

 

Despres has basically been the same player since his rookie season in 2007-08. He’s safe, steady, reliable, and rarely makes a mistake on the blue line that will cost his team.

He’s not flashy, and you’re probably never going to leave the rink with a play that Despres made stuck in your mind.

The ‘Big Horse’ just keeps things simple and gets the job down.

 

He’s an excellent skater and rarely gets beaten to the puck. One of the knocks on Despres has been that he is not overly physical given his size. It hasn’t really been that big of a problem, though.

 

In Saint John, his calming presence on the backend has really been a huge help to a fairly young defense core. He’s definitely ready for the pro game next year, and time will tell whether that is in Pittsburgh or Wilkes-Barre.

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