NHL Prospect Profile: Benoit Olivier-Groulx

Statistics

Scout Quotes

Groulx’s skating is a work in progress. While it is clear that he has improved in the last two years, there is still plenty of work to be done. His speed is merely mediocre, though it was well below average when he first entered the QMJHL. His first few steps have also improved, but could still come a bit further. Groulx has good footwork and agility, he moves well laterally and can make a number of quick cuts to create space. He is also strong on his skates, as he protects the puck well down low, and wins battles on the boards and in front of the net.

Groulx has the potential to be an effective second line centre, playing against top lines and providing offence at the NHL level. However, he must improve his skating. If he does not, then the offensive upside becomes more limited and he will top out as a third or fourth liner. It also has an effect on his position. Groulx, a natural centre, has spent most of this season playing wing for Halifax, mainly due to the skating concern. The skill set to do more is there, its a matter of developing the weakest aspect of his game. - Last Word on Hockey

AJ's Thoughts

Groulx is a guy whose junior career began with significant hype but he hasn't quite lived up to it yet. His skating has progressed but not to the point where it's anything close to ready for the NHL and it's really the biggest thing holding back what's otherwise a mature and impressive game. He reminds me a lot of Ryan O'Reilly during his junior career because both players can do it all on both ends of the ice but are limited by their skating ability. O'Reilly was obviously able to overcome that and become a quality NHL player but it took quite a bit of work to get there.

For Groulx, it's just a matter of him improving his skating. He has good hands and a well-rounded offensive game to go along with defensive excellence at a very young age. He is very likely going to anchor a penalty kill in the NHL at some point in his career if he figures out the skating issues. That's the only red flag he really faces.

Highlights

https://youtu.be/zQv49gJMZF4

Avalanche Fit

Groulx is a guy whose two-way game and upside is a very intriguing fit for the Avalanche, especially because he's likely a second-round selection. With two picks in that round, if Groulx were to last until 47/58, he would be a very good fit for Colorado, especially if they don't nab a center at 16.

Rankings

#24 Future Considerations
#38 McKeen's Hockey



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