The following article featuring Harvard incoming freshman Louis Leblanc appeared June 4 on the New York Islanders Web site as part of the Islanders' look at the top 30 prospects for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, as ranked by NHL Central Scouting.
Height: 6'0'' Weight: 178
Born: January 26, 1991 in Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada
Current Team: Omaha Lancers (USHL)
Final NHL Central Scouting Ranking: #13 North American Skater
Leblanc led Omaha with 59 points (28-31-59) in 60 games during his rookie season in the USHL. He was named the United States Hockey League Rookie of the Year, and finished tied for eighth among USHL skaters in goals.
Leblanc recorded five points (3-2-5) at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament to help Team Canada win a gold medal. He also was a member of Team Quebec at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and 2007 Canada Winter Games.
Prior to playing in the USHL, Leblanc spent one year in the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League. He scored 54 goals and 91 points to lead the Lac St. Louis Lions in both categories.
Leblanc has committed to attend Harvard University in the fall.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"The most impressive things about Louis Leblanc are his hands and his evasiveness with the puck; that separates him from other players on the ice right away. He needs to fill out a little bit yet, but he has the frame to be a big center. The other part of Leblanc's game that I noticed was his vision; his ability to see and dissect a play and to make the right play. He's also very competitive and he gets involved in the play."
-NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee
"Louis had a terrific first season in the USHL that saw him establish himself as one of the better and most tenacious players in the league. He has an outstanding stick and a nose for the net. His work ethic is unmatched and he truly understands the meaning of the word ‘team'...It's flat-out amazing how hard he works, and I've never seen, in 20 years of coaching, his level of competitiveness. He competes harder than other players. He's got a lot of ‘want' in him. If the puck is there, he's on it."
-Omaha Head Coach Bliss Littler
"Louis is a hard-nosed kid who gets his goals from near the goal, not the perimeter. It's refreshing to see a player with that skill set who understands what he needs to do to be successful. He is a combination of skill and blue-collar work ethic. It's great to have skill, but if the hard work doesn't come first, it means nothing. The determination is there with Leblanc."
-Former NHL player Craig Ludwig