Saturday, March 15, 2008

When Twenty Is Old

With the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season wrapping up tomorrow, diminutive Caps prospect Mathieu Perreault (who the Caps list at 5'9", 151 pounds) is, in all likelihood, going to end up leading the League in scoring - which, of course, is great, especially since he'll be the second consecutive Caps prospect to do so and adding a Jean Béliveau Trophy to a resume that already includes a Michel Brière Memorial Trophy (as that league's MVP) certainly ain't bad.

But is leading the Q in scoring a decent predictor of NHL success? I'll let you be the judge of that.

Below are Perreault and the last twenty QMJHL scoring leaders (active NHLers noted with an asterisk, other Briere Trophy winners noted with a plus) along with their age at the end of the given season, their total points that season, NHL games played to date and NHL points to date.

2007-08: Mathieu Perreault+ (20, 113+; 0, 0)
2006-07: Francois Bouchard (18, 125; 0, 0)
2005-06: Alexander Radulov*+ (19, 152; 135, 91)
2004-05: Sidney Crosby*+ (17, 168; 209, 289)
2003-04: Sidney Crosby*+ (16, 135; 209, 289)
2002-03: Joel Perrault*+ (19, 116; 72, 22)
2001-02: Pierre-Marc Bouchard*+ (17, 140; 344, 216)
2000-01: Simon Gamache+ (20, 184; 48, 13)
1999-00: Brad Richards*+ (19, 186; 558, 497)
1998-99: Mike Ribeiro* (19, 167; 427, 288)
1997-98: Ramzi Abid+ (17, 135; 68, 30)
1996-97: Pavel Rosa (19, 152; 36, 18)
1995-96: Daniel Briere* (18, 163; 553, 437)
1994-95: Patrick Carignan (I can't even find a birthdate on this dude, 137; 0, 0)
1993-94: Yanick Dube+ (19, 141; 0, 0)
1992-93: Rene Corbet (19, 148; 362, 132)
1991-92: Patrick Poulin (18, 138; 634, 235)
1990-91: Yanic Perreault*+ (19, 185; 853, 513)
1989-90: Patrick Lebeau (20, 174; 15, 5)
1988-89: Stephane Morin (19, 186; 90, 55)
1987-88: Patrice Lefebvre (18, 200; 3, 0)

Point being - and this is not to take anything away from Perreault's accomplishment - before anyone gets too excited, note that the last two 20-year-olds to lead the Q in scoring (both of whom, like Perreault, were listed at 5'10" or smaller and drafted in the late rounds) have combined for 18 points in 63 career NHL games and 1,350 points in 1,156 non-NHL games since leaving the QMJHL.

So does being small and 20 when leading the Q in scoring doom one to a career of bouncing around various second- and third-tier leagues with the occasional NHL cup of coffee? Let's just say that Mathieu Perreault has his work cut out for him if he's going to break the mold.


Daniel said...

Also, virtually all of those listed were both younger and scored far more points than Perrault or Bouchard. I'd say this, while a nice accomplishment, does not at all predict that he'll be successful in the NHL.

Also, those damn Flyers and Briuns couldn't finish in regulation, huh?


dmg said...

Also, virtually all of those listed were both younger and scored far more points than Perrault or Bouchard.

Aside of Bouchard and Perrault there are 19 years listed; one player doesn't have DOB data available. Of those 18 years where the age was known the player who won was 18 or older (the age Bouchard was) 13 times. Of the 4 who were younger than 18, two were Sidney Crosby. I don't think it's fair count Bouchard winning it at 18 as a strike against him (although with a 4/26 birthday he was an old 18...)

Daniel said...

Alright, I meant the younger for Perrault, but the points observation holds for both. Poor wording on my part.


Anonymous said...

1987-88: Patrice Lefebvre (18, 200; 3, 0) played 1 game for the Caps in the 98-99 season!

~Mark said...

I'm sorry, did someone say the Daniel Briere trophy? Oh, oh...Michael. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, they're getting better. Keep in mind that no Quebec team won the Memorial Cup between Guy Lafleur in 1971 until Granby in 1996 in Peterborough against my hometown Petes (yes, it ruined my childhood). During that time, it was a second-tier league. Between 1996 and 2006 though (it's too soon to judge 07) 6 of the 9 winners made it, with 3 All Stars and Radulov and Bouchard having a chance to make a game or two.

JMac said...

>>before anyone gets too excited<<

Too late?