I find it comical that because LL is gritty and good defensively that he automatically gets pegged "3rd line checking center". Mikko Koivu had those attributes when he was young and he is a #1 center in Minny, maybe #2 on about 3-5 NHL teams but being a good 2 way player and gritty doesn't prevent a guy from also having sklill.
Last year with Montreal Jr the system had a bit of an impact on his numbers, but also the fact that he played half those games with a bum shoulder. when you are a guy that plays physical and goes to the net, having a bad shoulder forces you to adjust your game and not be as good/effective. C-O Roussel saw his numbers go from 54 to 30 points going from Shawinigan to Montreal so the system was probably a factor.
I thought this was worthy of its own thread:
Louis Leblanc's first pro game tonight.
"Hamilton head coach Clément Jodoin has him skating on a line with wingers Andrew Conboy and Andreas Engqvist...“It’s his first pro game,” the coach says. “I said, ‘Louis, let’s go one step at a time.’ ”
I don't understand why a lot of you are calling Leblanc a THIRD LINE CENTRE or ELITE THIRD LINE CENTRE???
He has the potential to be a second line centre and play with top line wingers like Pacioretty and Cammalleri, this kid skates well, passes well, sets up plays well and even plays with an edge and goes in front of the net and into the corners if needed.
Leblanc is a lot like Bergeron in Boston, but the only reason Bergeron was a third line centre was because of the depth at that position in Boston, he is easily a top two centre on any other team in the league and in Boston now.
I would love to see Eller and Leblanc as the top two centres of the future and possibly Desharnais in the mix if he is not traded.
If needed? Corners are actually Leblanc's house, or comfort zone if you prefer.
If this guy has any elite skill, it has to be his way to cycle the puck down low, with hassle and grittiness but also with deceiving finesse. He always finds the way to come out of the corners with possession of the puck, it's a treat to watch! Obviously, we'll have to see how he fares at doing that with real men though...
I've been very impressed with Louis so far. I'm worried like anyone else that he might be slightly too fragile for the type of game he plays, but I'll still always prefer one injury-prone Louis over two healthy Pouliots!
If Leblanc can stay healthy, Leblanc will be a star on the Canadiens. Not a star in the NHL, but a star on the Canadiens. He'll be a lot like where Plekanec is now. People will know who he is and be impressed by his play but he'll only make an all-star team if Subban and Price are injured. He's exactly the kind of guy the team needs. Montreal will never be big but they need guys who can play through big guys and that'll be Louie Louie.