Do you remember Jacques Laperriere? Lanky rearguard for the Habs 40 years ago, he used to look like he was running and slipping on a banana peel when he skated. However, Laperriere was an extremely effective NHL defender and had some fine offensive seasons. Won a Norris too. Jeremie Blain–by size, description and in the photo above–reminds me of the great Hab of yesterday.
Stu MacGregor: “Good size, very strong, competes hard and plays with an edge. A guy we really liked, Billy Dandy really pushed him hard. When I saw him play, the kid played on a terrible team but played hard every shift. We feel we got some more size there and we got some grit.”
Blain appears to be a bright young man and his interviews come across as intelligent and engaged. Clearly, there’s a light on in there. “I need to get bigger and stronger, for sure. That’s typical for any young kid,” said the young kid not long ago. The young kid said something else recently that cost him two games, and that might be an issue the organization will have to address when he turns pro.
Let’s talk about him as an offensive player.
- Age 17 64, 4-34-38 .594
- Age 18 40, 2-35-37 .925
- Age 19 24, 6-16-22 .917
I don’t think he’s M-A Bergeron as an offensive defender but those are good numbers.
Offensively, Blain is among the best prospects in the system. Clearly a quality passer, Blain has played on poor teams and good teams, posting numbers in both cases. He did some good things at the summer prospect camp, and left with the notion that getting bigger, stronger and faster was the key to future success.
- Blain: “The most important thing I learned is (I need to be) tougher in front of the net and in the corners. As a D you’ve got to own the front of your net and you’ve got to own the corners too. From there I just need to play my game, move the puck quick and support the attack.”
You can read about it here.
In slotting Blain behind players like Klefbom, Marincin and Gernat, I think it’s only fair to suggest that Blain may actually be as good or better offensively. It remains to be seen if any or all of these kids bring offense to the pro’s, but Blain isn’t getting a huge push from the powerplay and has posted very good numbers for 2.5 seasons now (or thereabouts).
I’ve nicked him a little because of injury (he missed some time last season due to a foot injury) and he doesn’t seem to have any one outstanding skill. That said, Blain is a solid NHL prospect.