Weight: 200 pounds
Date of birth: November 22, 2000
Hometown: Gloucester, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 8, 150th overall, 2016 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season: C Prospect, November: B Prospect, Mid-term: 72 NA
If you had suggested a season ago, or in the pre-season, that Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds defender Jacob LeGuerrier could rise to a late second or early third rounder at the 2019 National Hockey League Draft, then give yourself a pat on the back because that is exactly what he has done.
The Gloucester, Ontario native played his Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Gloucester Rangers during the 2015-2016 season, scoring twice and adding 5 assists in 27 games. The Greyhounds selected LeGuerrier with the 150th overall pick at the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. He won a Minor Bantam AA Championship in 2014 and a Bantam AAA Championship in 2015.
LeGuerrier would make his OHL debut on September 23, 2016 as a 15-year-old and being entrusted with such a task at that age speaks volumes as to how the Greyhounds felt about him. He would appear in 35 games that season and would record 6 assists and a very respectable plus-6.
The following season, LeGuerrier would appear in 62 games notching 11 assists and an even more respectable plus-21. After appearing in 97 OHL regular season games without scoring a goal, he would notch two in the playoffs as the Greyhounds made it to the OHL Finals, eventually falling to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
As the regular season comes to a close this weekend, LeGuerrier has appeared in 67 games for the Greyhounds. He’s registered 6 goals and 10 assists and a plus-32 while compiling 52 minutes in penalties.
LeGuerrier has shown marked improvement in areas of his game that he needed to pay more attention to detail too. A year ago, there were times he would take himself out of the play looking to make a hit. Now, he has become more patient, staying in his lane and defending, especially through the neutral zone and at his blue line. He’s always been an excellent skater, but as he’s matured and gained confidence, he’s seizing his opportunities to rush the puck or jump into the offense.
Defensively, LeGuerrier is beyond sound. His skating and long reach allows him to keep gaps very tight. He is difficult to beat one on one. He has a physicality in his game to go along with his size. He can ride opponents out along the walls, win the physical battles and is a force in front of the blue paint.
Offensively there is some intriguing untapped potential in LeGuerrier. As mentioned, his skating allows him to move laterally and open up lanes. He sees the ice extremely well and possesses some deceptive passing abilities. His shot isn’t overpowering, but there is always a purpose to it.
The coaching staff has also trusted LeGuerrier to play in any situation and against the opposition’s best. And on a team that boasts NHL drafted d-men in Jordan Sambrook (Detroit-137th in 2016) and Mac Hollowell (Toronto-118th in 2018), the confidence they have shown in LeGuerrier speaks volumes.
In this OHL draft class, LeGuerrier is a top 15 pick. If you believe that the last game sticks in the minds of NHL Scouts the most, then the OHL Playoffs represent an opportunity for his stock to continue to climb.