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2018 NHL Draft Profile: Olivier Rodrigue proves size isn’t everything

This QMJHL star could be the first goalie selected

Drummondville Voltigeurs v Blainville-Boisbriand Armada Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Olivier Rodrigue

Position: Goalie
Current Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: July 6, 2000
Birthplace: Chicoutimi, Quebec
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 156
Catches: Left

Rankings

Ranked #1 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Goalies)
Future Considerations: 83rd
ISS Hockey: 1st (among goalies)
Bob McKenzie: 3rd (among goalies)
Craig Button: 70th

2017-18 Stats

53 GP/2.54 GAA/.903 SV% (2.50 and .891 in 10 playoff games)

So far in our prospect profile series, we’ve mostly covered players who will go in the first or second rounds. Now we have a player who may go in the third, but is still worth watching Olivier Rodrigue is considered the top North American goalie prospect by NHL Central Scouting. His numbers with Drummondville look good but not great, but remember he plays in the Q, aka the Big XII football of Canadian junior hockey. It is international competition where O-Rod (I assume this is his nickname) really shines. With Canada’s U18 team, he led them to the gold medal in the Hlinka Memorial, with a 1.00 GAA and .942 save percentage in 4 games. In the U18 World Championship, he posted a 1.33 GAA and .949 save percentage, both tops in the tournament.

The biggest drawback for Rodrigue is his smaller size compared to the recent trend of giant goalies. However, his positioning helps him play larger than his height and slight frame would suggest.

Scouting Reports

Rodrigue had a very solid season for a top QMJHL team in Drummondville. He was also very good internationally, leading Canada to a gold at the Ivan Hlinka and had a brief yet brilliant performance for Canada at the U18’s. Rodrigue is a very calm goalie in between the pipes. You never see him break out of his stance and always seems to be in control moving around the crease. He’s a very smart goalie who always seems to find a way to square up pucks and tracks pucks quite well. His quickness is ok, more average than above-average, as he’s a goalie who relies on his brain to make stops. You’d like to see him be a bigger goalie for his style of play, but he’s gotten the job done at the junior level. - Corey Pronman, The Athletic

Olivier Rodrigue could be the most athletic and competitive goaltender available in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Although he doesn’t boast immense size, Rodrigue’s fiery demeanour and determination to succeed more than compensate for this perceived deficiency. A true battler in the crease and desperate to win each and every time he graces the ice, Rodrigue denies opposing shooters through strong positional play and the ability to react quickly to well-placed shots and dangerous scoring chances.

Since he can’t rely on his size to simply block shots, Rodrigue works tirelessly to keep an eye on his opponents in possession of the puck in order to visualize how plays will develop and how he will need to react in order to deny developing high-percentage scoring opportunities. - Brett Slawson, The Hockey Writers

Rodrigue Highlights