The Subway Super Series kicks off tonight in Blainville-Boisbriand with Team Russia taking on the QMJHL All-Stars.
Jean-Sébastien Dea of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies soared onto Team Canada's radar thanks to a breakout opening quarter, and will be aiming to parlay his success into a World Junior roster spot, similar to what Barrie's Tanner Pearson did last year.
The undrafted Laprairie, Quebec native currently sits tied with Nathan MacKinnon (Hal) and Josh Currie (PEI) for the league lead in goals with 18 - one more than he scored as a rookie in `11-12 (50-17-15-32).
Along with MacKinnon, the other key draft eligibles on display tonight include Val d'Or sensation Anthony Mantha and Cape Breton's William Carrier, who is being groomed as a shutdown operative.
Unfortunately, the 'Q' stars will be without top prospect Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads, out due to injury, while teammate Zachary Fucale and steady Val d'Or blueliner Matt Murphy won't play until Game 2 in Val d'Or.
McKeen's correspondent Carl Lemelin files this report on Dea and Swiss winger Sven Andrighetto in a game against Drummondville which, incidentally, saw Rouyn's two-headed machine held off the scoresheet for the first time this season.
It also marked the end of a 10-game consecutive points streak for Dea in which he tallied 20 points (9-11-20).
Subway Super Series schedule: Nov 05 vs QMJHL (Blainville-Boisbriand, QC), Nov 07 vs QMJHL (Val-d’Or, QC), Nov 08 vs OHL (Guelph, ON), Nov 12 vs OHL (Sarnia, ON), Nov 14 vs WHL (Vancouver, BC), Nov 15 vs WHL (Victoria, BC)
Jean-Sébastien Dea (C, 2013), Rouyn-Noranda - unable to showcase his full offensive arsenal against a tough, well-coached Drummondville team .. in a very physical affair with plenty of animosity shown between the combatants, Rouyn spent much of the contest shorthanded thanks to 10 penalties .. light, darting-type centerman .. clever and nimble enough to avoid most heavy collisions, however can be easily knocked off the puck when contact is initiated .. a sound and efficient skater .. changes directions swiftly without telegraphing his intentions, displaying excellent control of his edges .. generates effortless power from an economical stride .. biggest weapon is an elite wristshot and snapshot .. rang the cross-bar in the opening period coming in off the right wing, and firing blocker-side on the goalie from what appeared to be a seemingly impossible angle .. gets impressive velocity from a minimal, compact wind-up .. selected in the third round of the 2011 QMJHL Midget Draft .. must work diligently to add muscle and mass to a lean six-foot, 160-pound frame .. his lack of size and upper-body strength will always make defending a challenge .. `94-born forward went undrafted this past summer, however NHL teams won't overlook him again, especially if his freakish shooting percentage (42.9%) continues.
Sven Andrighetto (RW, 2013), Rouyn-Noranda - double-shifted all night long, including first-unit penalty-killing duties, a testament to the quality of his all-around game .. possesses a high hockey IQ on both sides of the puck .. makes quick decisions and very few mistakes .. thwarted a 2-on-1 against in the first period, while on the power play, by staying in the passing lane and timing his approach as the puckcarrier's shooting angle closed off .. a deft passer .. anticipates the game impressively - always seems to know where he is going before the puck gets to him .. shoots with purpose and precision, rarely missing the net, albeit without great velocity .. plays with a shorter stick, resulting in a hunched-over skating style from which he only generates average speed .. does posses quick feet however, which provides the agility needed to manoeuvre in tight quarters, with the short stick helping to protect the puck in traffic .. showed off a non-stop motor and very high compete level .. finishes checks with surprising authority for his size and is not easily separated from the puck .. listed at just five-foot-nine, his lack of size will still be an issue at the next levels - even if he plays a brave game and doesn't get intimidated battling against bigger foe.