Another first round pick, Tristan Luneau and the quest for lost time

This is the 26th pick obtained from the Calgary Flames in Tyler Toffoli’s trade. The design, by definition extremely unpredictable, could take an even more arbitrary turn in 2022. Mainly because of the pandemic and this lost or cut year of development for many young hockey players.

An enviable position in spite of everything at this 26th rank, where the CH fielded Noah Juulsen in 2015, where the Sabers excavated Tage Thompson in 2016 and where Jake Oettinger, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Jakob Pelletier have recently heard their names.

It’s a journey with depth in the first roundsaid Dan Marr, director of the recruitment center at the NHL Friday.

If you have the luxury of having more than one pick, when it comes to your second, you run the risk of having another player available that the team really likes that he thought he didn’t have. I know we hear that a lot, but it’s true […] When you get to your second pick, teams can take a chance with a riskier pick for a player they really like. They will leave the draft satisfied, thinking they now have two players who will eventually play for them.explained the experienced recruiter.

So according to certain scouts with whom we have been able to trade, there would still be a few pearls left, perhaps more than usual. Will Tristan Luneau be part of it?

The value of this Quebec defender plummeted in the eyes of the central recruit between the middle of the season and the end. Ranked 10th among North American skaters in January, he eventually fell to 24th, the steepest drop in the top 20, save for Kent’s son Jack Hughes.

After his rookie year with the Gatineau Olympiques last year, he was almost expected to finish in the top ten of the entire draft.

And now? I think it’s between 28 and 40. turns outargued one scout.

At number 26, you usually have someone between number 16 and 22 on your list. So yes, it’s too earlyreplied another.

bad wound

However, Luneau has intriguing potential. The Olympiques, who dominated before arriving in the junior, made him the first-ever pick of the 2020 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ) draft. The talent is there. While selected No. 1 in the junior league is no guarantee, Joshua Roy has reminded everyone this season that it can be risky to turn your nose up at raw talent.

So Luneau was entitled to the big round during the evaluation camp in Buffalo this week. A total of 26 teams called him for an interview, including, of course, the Canadiens. We didn’t challenge him too much.

They were pretty easy questions in the same mold. I talked to the others to prepare myself a bit and I heard things like what animal do you compare yourself to. Some were challenged and shown fragments of their evil presence to ask them what they were doing there. I haven’t had that, but I’ve heard good oneshe explained when we met him.

As a model student, a young man with a lively mind, Luneau can express himself very well and clearly popularize his thinking. Perhaps it was not necessary to force the investigation to fully understand his personality. Like what has been circulating in recent days, the Habs have been particularly keen on him. Most players have also identified the CH as the most difficult interview.

Tristan Luneau at an event at the Bell Center (archive)

Photo: QMJHL

They tried to pressure me a bit. They want to know if we have a good knowledge of our strengths and weaknesseshe launched.

He had to explain himself extensively last summer about this left knee operation that slowed him down considerably. A little pain that got worse over time. The surface of the bone was not smooth; this created friction, tension and inflammation in the joint. Luneau thinks he’s been playing with joint pain since he was 12. Surgical intervention had become necessary.

In my physical development I notice that I have really fallen behind in my age group.

A quote from Tristan Luneau

After a year partially ruined by the pandemic, he had to give up an entire summer of training. Just before his design season. The return to the game was painful.

Before the holidays I really wasn’t myself. It was frustrating at first. This is a year where you try to promote yourself. You’re trying to show who Tristan Luneau is and what kind of defender you want to be. But the fact that I couldn’t show that or help my team win as much as I would have liked was pretty frustrating.he explained.

I put everything in perspective and told myself it was a process of coming back from injury and it would take time. If it affects my concept, it affects that. It’s still a number. If it slows me down in my development, it might take me a little longer to reach my dream, but at the same time, it’s not about how fast you get there, but how long you stay there.to chain Luneau.

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His maturity breaks the screen. He is no longer seen as the most beautiful candidate from Quebec in the rematch – Nathan Gaucher and Maveric Lamoureux have passed him by in the minds of many people – but he does not give himself the lead.

Luneau relies on the work and support of his family and his brothers, three in number. The four little Luneaus must have pushed up the grocery bill at the time, sporty as they are.

The oldest played soccer. The second, Maxime, was recruited by Cirque du Soleil and spent the last three years in China before returning home. The father played with the Laval Titan and the mother is a figure skating coach.

The lineage is rich.

Luneau would like to go out in the first round, but doesn’t make a fuss about it either. He spent the week with Lamoureux and Noah Warren. Quebec’s three backs have a small friendly to see who goes out first.

Ultimately, as Luneau himself said, it’s just a number.

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