Scouts’ Quotes on Poirier
April 19, 2020
By Grant McCagg
Jeremie Poirier – D Saint John QMJHL 2002-06-02 6-0.5 196
2019-20 Stats – 64 20 33 53 50 Shoots Left
Quebec-based crossover scout Feb. 2020 – He’s too crazy. His talent level is definitely first round, but his head, I don’t know. Poor gaps are usually a product of not trusting your own backward movement and fluid pivots to close off. So, you just back in. Reads and reaction are probably more mental. He is usually in offensive cheat mode.
Ontario-based crossover scout Apr. 2020 – I just watched hours on him. He doesn’t care in his own end. How dynamic is he at the other end…is he really dynamic? There’s a love affair with him around certain circles…not for me. The last five or six minutes of the CHL Russia Challenge game in Halifax. His play in the neutral zone; pretty much sums him up. People are going to think they can teach him all that, but his pivots suck. That’s not always teachable; usually it isn’t.
Ontario-based crossover scout Feb. 2020 – He has a lot of skill and a lot of offence, defensively he has nothing. He’s the kind of a guy…you know he’s good, but you don’t want him in your program. If a player is poor defensively but he wants to improve, you can help him. The problem with Poirier is he doesn’t want to do it. He may not get any better defensively because he doesn’t want to get any better. He may be a coach killer. I have less problem with a forward that doesn’t want to play defensively than a defenceman that doesn’t want to play defensively…it’s like having a goalie that doesn’t want to stop a puck..it doesn’t work. Playing defensively…it’s a decision. If you want to do it, you will do it. I don’t think that’s Poirier.
Quebec-based crossover scout April 2020 – I am not going to argue that he doesn’t have first-round offensive talent. He scored 20 goals on the blueline, and you cannot completely ignore that. You also have to be able to defend, though, if you want to play defence in the NHL. (William) Villeneuve and Poirier paired together was scary to watch at times defensively, and in a lot of instances it was because of Poirier. You could drive a tractor trailer between the gaps. Both of them backed up until they were on top of their goalie on far too many plays. Poirier got beat like a drum to the outside by Sokolov one shift in particular that stands out for me, and Sokolov is by no means quick. I get excited when Poirier has the puck, I get excited when he doesn’t have the puck, but not excited in a positive way, if you catch my drift. He had 53 points, yet finished minus 25? That’s Merkleyesque. He reminds me of Merkley in a lot of ways, especially defensively, but he’s not as talented as Merkley.”
Ontario-based crossover scout April 2020 – Will he be a forward? That will be up to his pro coaches to decide. He’ll have to grind it out in the AHL for as long as it takes to try to be able to defend…maybe an AHL coach will move him up front. Playing defence is all about commitment and hard work. A player who has no confidence in his backwards skating and mobility has poor gap control because he is afraid to get beat. Poirier has poor gap control because he doesn’t trust his feet.