The end of another month brings with it another alteration to our 2024 QMJHL Draft rankings, with this edition being comprised of the top 80 players in this year’s class. The full ranking can be accessed via the 2024 QMJHL Draft Center.
This month the main focus was on some M18 Québec league play, the East Coast Ice Jam where many of the top teams from the Atlantic provinces compete against one another, and the Youth Olympic Games, where two of our ranked players suited up for Team Canada. Although it becomes harder to keep tabs on every prospect we have ranked as our list expands, we look forward to following along the progression of these prospects as the playoffs loom in their respective leagues. We also look forward to expanding our rankings to a top 100 in March, while also getting our first look at the 2025 QMJHL Draft class by offering our readers an early look at the top 2009-born Québec and Atlantic players.
Note: The exclusion of Aiden O’Donnell and Maddox Dagenais is due to some rumblings we had been hearing that they were opting for the OHL draft. It has since been brought to our attention that both these players will actually be eligible for the QMJHL draft and they will be re-included in our rankings next month.
Youth Olympic Standouts
Tynan Lawrence’s strong play at the 2024 Youth Olympic Games for Team Canada further solidified his spot as our #1 prospect for the draft. The center from Fredericton, New Brunswick finished with four points in four games and was a factor for Canada in all areas of the ice. It was very reassuring for us that Lawrence was not only able to hang around with the best 2008-born players in the world but thrive among them and establish himself as one of the better players in the country for his age. The top spot is his to lose as we enter into latter half of the 2024 draft season.
The lone Québec player on Team Canada was Bishop Kearney defenseman Cameron Chartrand, who performed very well in a defensive bottom-pair role for the Canadians. The offensive upside is still a question mark, but he plays such a mature defensive game that I think makes him the most projectable defender in this year’s draft. All his physical tools are really strong as well, which is what helped him rise from 7th to 5th in our rankings.
Movement in the Top 10
The highest riser relative to our top 10 was Collège Esther-Blondin Phénix forward Jayden Plouffe who went from 10th to 4th on our list. He continues to be one of the more productive U16 forwards playing in Québec despite being on one of the league’s worst teams. Even with the absence of Alexis Joseph in the last three games, Plouffe has continued to lead the charge for the Phénix with 4 points in that span. He continues to be one of the better playmaking forwards I’ve seen this season, and I become more convinced each time I watch him that he’ll be able to make the jump to Junior Hockey next season.
The two new additions to our top 10 were Laval-Montréal defenseman Biagio Jr. Daniele (8th) and Halton Hurricanes forward Tristan Venne (10th). Daniele is quickly becoming of the more dynamic offensive defenseman in this year’s draft. His skating ability really is unparalleled from the back end, and he’s beginning to learn how to use it more effectively to his advantage .Since after the CCM Challenge, he has put up 10 points in 11 games and has been leaned on quite heavily in all situations for the Rousseau-Royal. In Venne’s case, I finally got around to watching more of his games after it was announced that he would be making himself eligible for the QMJHL draft. He currently sits fourth in OMHA league scoring with 59 points in 29 games, although the body of his game reflects much more than just lofty point totals. He plays a very high-paced game and is able to assert himself in all areas of the ice. He may be somewhat overlooked due to his diminutive stature, but you won’t be getting any sort of that criticism from us. I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to climb further up our rankings in the coming months.
Our highest ranked new addition to this month’s ranking is Long Island Gulls forward Maxim Dubé who comes in at 31st on our list. Dubé is a player with high-end offensive tools, which is made apparent with his 66 points in 57 games. I think he’s a player who could enter first-round consideration just based on talent alone, I would just like to see more engagement and assertiveness in his game on a more consistent basis.
Zakary Savoie makes his debut on our list, coming in at 44th after a strong second half of the season in the New Brunswick/PEI U18 circuit. He had a really strong showing at the East Coast Ice Jam with 5 points in 5 games, displaying some intriguing playmaking habits to go along with his lethal shooting ability. It’s always promising when a prospect is able to improve drastically with every passing month, and I believe Savoie is a player who has fit that mold this season.
After being injured for a majority of this season, Lévis Chevaliers forward Justin Thibault has entered our rankings at 46th after a very strong month of January. Since returning to the lineup he has become one of the Chevaliers key offensive contributors, putting up 8 points in 10 games and gaining more responsibility from the coaching staff with each passing game. I wouldn’t be surprised if Thibault is able to establish himself as a late-first to early-second round player if he’s able to finish off the season at this pace and put together an impressive performance in the playoffs.
For more detailed scouting and game reports on each player in our top 80, visit the QMJHL Draft Rankings page.