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2020 Draft Prospect Profile: Hendrix Lapierre could be a late first round wild card, but comes with injury concerns

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After an injury-plagued season, the talented center from the QMJHL is a wild card in the 2020 draft.

Chicoutimi Sagueneens v Quebec Remparts Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

Every day leading up to the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft on Tuesday, October 6, we will be profiling prospects who are likely to be in range of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ selection at #21. We will continue our player reviews of the forwards later in the week as well.

Hendrix Lapierre

Position: Center
Team: Chicoutimi Saueneens (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: February 9, 2002
Birthplace: Gatineau, Quebec
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 181
Shoots: Left

Rankings

Ranked #27 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #27 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #17 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #10 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #20 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #13 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #20 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #15 by TSN/McKenzie

2019-20 Stats

Games Played: 19
Goals: 2
Assists: 15
Points: 17
PIM: 10

Hendrix Lapierre is heading into the 2020NHL Entry Draft on the heels of an injury-shortened season. After showing out with Team Canada in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Lapierre was diagnosed with three concussions in a ten month span. As a result, despite being a former #1 overall pick in the QMJHL entry draft. Lapierre carries more risks than the average draft pick.

A playmaker first and foremost when healthy, Lapierre is noted for his passing and his ability to play in all situations. Scouts over and over have raved about his ability to find his linemates, stand out with his passing abilities, and create offense.

For a team considering Lapierre, they must balance his playmaking talents with significant injury concerns. He recorded nearly a point per game in his draft season, but played just 19 games. He won the Michel Bergeron Trophy as QMJHL offensive rookie of the year in 2018-19, but was then diagnosed with three concussions.

If he stays healthy, he could be a steal late in the first round, but there are significant concerns surrounding Lapierre.

Scouting Reports

His pucks skills, and the ability to wield them with the same effectiveness at speed as he does at a standstill, make him a dazzling puck-carrier. Lapierre can effortlessly weave his way through an entire team on a moment’s notice, and he did that seemingly once a game during his tear at the Hlinka. -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

The hope would be that his 11 points in five games with Canada’s U18 team at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup was actually closer to the kind of player Lapierre can be. He was diagnosed with three concussions in 10 months, and when healthy he scored only two goals in 19 games. There might be no prospect in this draft who was hurt more by the pandemic, because Lapierre was on the verge of returning to play ahead of the QMJHL playoffs when the season was canceled. -NHL staff mock draft 2020: Changes in the top three, plus an audit by NHL scouts

Lapierre is among the best playmakers in the 2020 Draft Class and that’s in large part due to his elite passing ability. Hendrix’s passing ability is a trifecta of strength, precision, and creativity, as he can make difficult passes with regularity to find teammates both in the slot and across the seam in the offensive zone. He has the rare skill of being equally accurate on both his backhand and forehand with his passes, which allows him to catch defenders and goaltenders by surprise with some of the passes he can make. When you combine this passing ability with his puck skills, Lapierre becomes extremely dangerous as a puck distributor. -Brendan Holmes, DraftGeek

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