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10-29-2003, 03:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: CAV Country!
Originally Posted by
Vlad The Impaler
He is a hell of a find. I liked him for the draft but I NEVER saw it coming. Hope he will keep it up because he also looks like a nice person on top of being one of my favorite up-and-comers!
Well, you're right on there about his personality.
Patrice and I stayed at the same hotel in Nashville, so on Sunday after Day 2 wrapped up, he and I sat down for about an hour in the hotel restaurant and just talked about the whole draft experience.
He was/is such a nice kid- his parents definitely raised him right. And, he has a very good relationship with his older brother Guillaume.
But I was literally in awe of his maturity and excellent grasp of English. I just had this gut feeling that when he arrived in Boston for training camp, he would do better than most 18-year-old junior rookies in their first pro camp because he would have no problem with the language and was such a serious, but confident person.
I'll be honest- I believed that he was going to be an NHL player, and my WHL scout friend with me at the time can attest to that because he was there to hear me gush about Patrice's personality and potential. However- I didn't believe for a second that he would be playing in the NHL and producing the way he has *this* year. I believed he would tear it up in the Q first, then challenge for a spot in Boston next year.
My hat's off to him.
Here is what I wrote for the New England Hockey Journal's July 2003 draft recap issue:
Talent Analysis: Bergeron is a creative playmaker who has great hands and vision, not to mention keen hockey sense and a nose for the net. He's been described in the same sentence with Steve Yzerman and Ron Francis for his ability, character and work ethic. He's an underrated goal scorer who has a wicked wrist shot and great release that he can get off from just about anywhere. Bergeron's skating is not what it could be. He lacks an explosive first-step and burst, but he isn't a poor skater by any means. With diligence and a good power-skating instructor, Bergeron can eliminate it as a shortcoming in his game. He has a slight frame and needs to get stronger.
"I'm a playmaker. I like to set up the goals, but I can score them too. I work hard and try to be a good teammate."- Patrice Bergeron
"He's got great hockey sense. Patrice played a big part on a team that almost upset the heavily favored Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec League semis. He's very good on faceoffs and competes hard. We're very excited about this player and where we got him in the draft."- Scott Bradley, Boston Bruins Director of Amateur Scouting
"We think he's going to be a special one. He's a little like Adam Oates in that he'll look one way and then go the other. He's a very skilled passer and makes plays at crunch time."- Bruins GM Mike O'Connell
"Bergeron is a terrific kid who has a good skill level and is dangerous offensively. He's one of the hardest workers I saw this year, and I tell you, if he can get a little better in his skating and bulk up, he could be a real steal where Boston got him. He's a leader on that Bathurst team, and I think he's only scratching the surface in terms of what he can become as a player." - Western NHL team scout
NEHJ Grade: A-
On ability alone, Bergeron is probably closer to a solid B at present, but after spending time with him, you really come to appreciate his sterling character and passion for the game. Understanding that his strength and conditioning needed work, Bergeron went out and hired a personal trainer out of pocket to help him be a better player after his season ended, and you can already see it paying dividends, as he looked stronger and heavier than his listed 180-pound weight at the draft. He's mature beyond his years and already has a strong grasp of the English language, which should help him to fit right in at camp. He may be a little shy off the ice, but Bergeron oozes confidence on it, and when you hear the scouts rave about his intangibles, you realize that if anyone is going to go the distance to excel at the highest level, this young man from Quebec City will. Watch him- he'll be among the league scoring leaders in the Q next year. After that, a permanent spot in Boston won't be far behind.
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