Friday, July 10, 2015

Xavier Ouellet Autographed Card

After multiple call-ups totaling 21 games with the Detroit Red Wings last season, Xavier Ouellet is about to have his first legitimate shot, at age 21, at an NHL roster spot next season. He probably won't want to get sent to the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins as often as last year, as it ended up taking its toll on his morale.

In my opinion, he's shown enough to be used as a #6 defenseman while he rounds his game and learns the ropes, and has the potential of being a #4 for a long time, with the added bonus of first-unit powerplay specialist. I see the 6'1'', 185-pound point man developing into a Jeff Petry type, or a better-defensively Ron Hainsey type.

Every team needs those, and with Niklas Kronwall entering his mid-30s, so will the Wings.

He was drafted in the second round (48th overall) in 2011, ahead of Scott Harrington (54th), Keegan Lowe (73rd), Jonathan Racine (87th), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (96th), Reid Boucher (99th), Johnny Gaudreau (104th), Andrew Shaw (139th), Frank Corrado (150th), Alexei Marchenko (205th), and Ondrej Palat (208th), and proceeded to be named to two consecutive First All-Star Team selections in the LHJMQ for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, who named him an alternate captain.

He had been drafted out of the same franchise, but before it moved to the suburbs, as can be attested by this 2011-12 Heroes And Prospects card (#183 in the set) from In The Game, showing him in the Montréal Junior's burgundy (a bit of a tribute to former NHL team the Montreal Maroons) away uniform:
He signed it in thin blue sharpie when he came back to town a couple of weeks ago, through a contact with the Armada as he went home to Terrebonne, on Montréal's North Shore. I thought I'd also brought one of him with the Armada, but I'd forgotten it, so I guess I'll have to try it through the mail (TTM) this winter instead.

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