I noticed he's having a find statistical start to the season, and it may be time for Canuck fans to take a bit of a longer look at Bernier as a potential top 6 NHL forward if he can keep up this pace. What are your opinions of him this year compared to last?
He seems to be a perfect third liner once his defense improves... but he has top six potential.
Obviosly you gotta love the size, he's huge, I love his vision and poise and the way he distributes the puck..... His skating is good for his size, i'm undecided about his finishing skills though.
Haven't seen him at all this year but I always liked him, a fav of mine in the 2003 draft.
Either way, you got a good player in Bernier.
I think top 6 forward in the NHL is getting farther away. His speed is decent, size is good but IMO he has poor hockey sense and won't really do the dirty work. I haven't seen much of him this year but that is the report from last year.
I went to see a Mooseheads/Screaming Eagles game in Halifax about two weeks ago now. I've also seen a few Mooseheads games on TV too.
In the game I attended, Bernier was the best player on the ice. He's got great size, adn he's playing more physical now. He was banging bodies, finishing his checks, and going to the net, which is where he's most effective. His hands are great, especially in tight. There was one goal where looked like Dave Andreychuk, with a little push off, and then the scramble went to him, and he delayed and roofed it on the backhand. Also in that game he made some nice passes and showed off his NHL-calibre shot. The guy has impressive offensive tools.
My problem with Bernier is I really don't like his skating. It's not that it's a brutal stride, like Andreychuk's or anything, but he really doesn't get going very fast. It's not that he's a complete floater either, he's just not a good skater. That to me is what could hold him back. He has the tools to be a 20-25 goal scorer in the NHL, consistently. The guy I'd compare him to is Pierre Dagenais, with a bit less of an attitude and subsequently, a bit more willingness to play physical.
I've seen Bernier play a lot and what surprises me is that he can never seem to find chemistry with top players. He started this season with Vrana and Guenette two top offensive players in the Quebec League and didn't play well. They dropped him to the checking line with Cabana and Munden and he responds with one of the best games I've ever seen him play. His tools are great (except skating which I would say is good) but his lack of chemistry with elite players worries me.
I've watched him play countless times over the last three years and I will say that he's really come a long way since 2002. This year he's actually using his size and stepping it up when his team comes up flat. Last week's drubbing from PEI really showed the weaknesses of the Mooseheads and nearly every player had a point in the game where they were completely shut down. Except MA. He was throwing a check in the corner every now and then, lining guys up (not successfully) at center ice and getting into it after a whistle.
He's changed a lot. Still has the potential to be a 1st liner in the Q but will probably remain a PP specialist and a 2nd line forward for this year and next. Second line NHLer is pushing it. I'd say that if he could find the right linemates in the big time, he could pull it off. Don't cross your fingers for it though.