Mario Tremblay tells us that he met Pierre-Luc Dubois for the first time recently at a charity/media event, and that the #1 ranked North American skater by Central Scouting was being tailed by some Vancouver Canucks scouting rep or other.
I really don’t think he’ll slip to #9.
Monsieur Dubois appeared on L’Antichambre.
He says that the draft will take place on his birthday, and being chosen to start his NHL career will be a great birthday present.
Asked if he’s bummed that the Canadiens are only picking 9th, he says for sure he and his family are Canadiens fans, but his dream has been to play in the NHL, he’ll be happy anywhere.
Guy Carbonneau asks what he needs to do to crack a roster next fall, he says he needs to add on some weight, work on his explosiveness, and he’ll need to be consistent, play his best every game.
Vincent Damphousse asks what his best asset is, and what he needs to work on. He says as a big guy, to play his physical style in the NHL, he’ll need to get even bigger and stronger, more explosive, but his biggest asset is his hockey sense. When Mario Tremblay asks how he developed this, Pierre-Luc explains that when his father coached in Baie-Comeau, he’d sit in on the video sessions, and his father would quiz him on certain situations, what to do here, in this example, and he believes this helped him as he grew up. Growing up watching games, alongside LHJMQ players helped. His father would encourage him to be flexible, to adapt and be ready to play any position.
Guy Carbonneau asks what kind of prep he’s doing to get ready for the drafting and interviewing process. Pierre-Luc says that he’s already met with twenty teams, and that he’s a client of Pat Brisson, so they’ve been working with him, flew him out to L.A. along with other draft prospects, and they went through a boot camp to learn how to comport themselves, how to react to different situations. He’s done sessions on Skype to simulate interviews.
He explains that he’s fully bilingual, since his mother is American.
Asked by Vincent if there was a competition with Julien Gauthier about who’d get ranked/picked higher, he says there’s a bit of that, they’ve been friends for a while, both clients of Pat Brisson, so there’s a friendly rivalry, but he says it’s not acrid or overly competitive, says Julien Gauthier is a really good player, a really good person. They do have fun with it though.
When asked how he’d react to landing in Vancouver, a team which may be the Canadian team that struggles the most in the near future, he’s positive, says that such teams will have lots of change, lots of turnovers, and lots of opportunities for a young player to make the roster.
Mario asks him which he’d prefer, to get picked by a team on which he can play right away, or by a strong organization in which he’d go back to junior and eventually the AHL for a few seasons. He says as a young guy who dreams of playing in the NHL, the first option is tempting, but ultimately what he cares about is winning a Stanley Cup, so whichever gives him a best chance at that is fine with him.
Vincent says in his day they’d take a couple months off after their junior season, before they’d get back to training and getting ready for a NHL training camp. With the Scouting Combine coming up, he asks how much of a break he was able to take, and Pierre-Luc says he took ten days off before getting back in the gym.
Asked what his goal is for the Combine, he says he wants to do well in the interviews, but also that he wants to be one of the strongest players there, to show teams that he can play in the NHL next season, he’s physically ready for that.
Stupid Stéphane Langdeau stupidly asks him a stupid question, if the WJC team not winning a medal made him happy a little bit, feeling a little vindicated, and Pierre-Luc neatly avoids the trap he could have fallen prey to, by saying that he’d have liked to be there and help them win, but he always roots for the Canadian team, and he had lots of friends on that team, Julien Gauthier and Anthony Beauvillier and Thomas Chabot, so of course he wanted them to win. Pressed on whether he should have been on the team, he says that when you’re fighting to get on Team Canada, it’s difficult, there are a lot of good players, you can only do your best and see how it goes.
Vincent tells him to capitalize on his strengths, that’s what he got drafted for, so when he goes to camp he should focus on those, and not be intimidated by all the veterans around him. Guy Carbonneau riffs off that, telling how when Mike Keane showed up for his first training camp, no one had ever heard of him, but he showed up with a confidence and intensity and everyone was taken aback, how mature he was, from the first day.
He’s later asked by Stéphane Leroux, who’s at the Memorial Cup, whether it irks him that the player who’s most often floated as a rival to be chosen #4, London Knight Matt Tkachuk, still has the opportunity to play games and impress scouts while he’s at home, his season over, Pierre-Luc says he gave everything he had during his season, everything he had to showcase he did, so he’s happy for Matt. He says he’s friends with him, met him at the Top Prospects game, and that he has friends on all four teams still playing, so he’s still watching those games, wishing he was there a little bit, but still enough of a fan to watch games.