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Louis Leblanc

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Louis Leblanc
Young male ice hockey player in full gear, including a face mask, skates toward the camera with a determined expression as he looks past the camera.
Leblanc with the Omaha Lancers in 2009
Born (1991-01-26) January 26, 1991 (age 24)
Pointe-Claire, QC, CAN
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 186 lb (84 kg; 13 st 4 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Anaheim Ducks
Montreal Canadiens
NHL Draft 18th overall, 2009
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 2011–present

Louis Jean Joseph Leblanc (born January 26, 1991) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre. He is currently playing with the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Leblanc played minor hockey in the Montréal region before he moved to the United States in 2008, where he played one season with the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and was named rookie of the year. Eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, he was selected 18th overall by the Montreal Canadiens. He then enrolled at Harvard University and spent one season with the Crimson, being named Ivy League rookie of the year, before he signed a contract with the Canadiens in 2010. Leblanc joined the Montreal Juniors later that year, who had earlier acquired his QMJHL playing rights. Midway through his first season in the QMJHL, Leblanc played in the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships; it was the second time he had played in an international tournament, having played at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, where the team won the gold medal.

Playing career[edit]

Junior[edit]

A group of three ice hockey players skate to the right of the image while looking to the left. The image is focused on the middle player, who is wearing the same uniform of the skater to his right, who is partially concealed by his teammate. Their opponent is to the left, with his team bench visible in the background
Leblanc while with the Montreal Juniors in 2010.

Leblanc was selected eighteenth overall by the Val-d'Or Foreurs in the 2007 QMJHL Draft, but instead went to the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League, with the intent of attending university in the United States. He spent the 2008–09 season with Omaha and played in 60 games for the Lancers, finishing with 28 goals and 31 assists for 59 points. His point total led the team in scoring and tied for tenth overall in the USHL; his goal total was tied for eighth overall, and the six game-winning goals Leblanc scored were tied for second overall. In recognition of his season, the USHL named him the league's rookie of the year.[1][2]

Leblanc was one of the top-ranked prospects for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, ranked thirteenth overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, and was selected eighteenth overall by the Montreal Canadiens, who were hosts of the draft.[3] Leblanc was the first francophone selected in the first round of the Entry Draft by the Canadiens since they picked Eric Chouinard sixteenth overall in 1998.[4] He was praised for his speed and determination, in addition to his willingness to go to the corners for the puck, as well as being a natural goal-scorer.[5][6] Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey also applauded Leblanc's choice to move to the United States and play in the USHL rather than stay in Quebec with the QMJHL and stated that as it was a more difficult developmental route, it showed he had good character.[7]

He enrolled at Harvard University in September 2009, and began playing for the university's hockey team, the Crimson.[5] In his one year at Harvard, Leblanc led the team in goals (11), assists (12) and points (23). He was named the Ivy League rookie of the year, and was a finalist for the ECAC rookie of the year.[8]

On July 30, 2010, Leblanc signed a 3-year contract with the Canadiens. By agreeing to an NHL contract, he forfeited his NCAA eligibility, being considered a professional. Leblanc subsequently left Harvard and joined the Montreal Junior Hockey Club of the QMJHL for the 2010–11 season.[9] His QMJHL rights had previously been owned by three different teams. Originally selected by the Val-d'Or Foreurs in the 2007 QMJHL Draft, they traded him to the Chicoutimi Saguenéens on January 8, 2009.[10] His rights were traded again on June 5, 2010 when Chicoutimi sent him to the Juniors.[11] After attending his first training camp with the Canadiens in September 2010, he was sent back to the Juniors,[12] where he made his QMJHL debut on September 10 in Montreal against the Shawinigan Cataractes; he recorded his first point, an assist, in the game.[13] Two days later, he scored his first goal in the QMJHL, in addition to three assists, against the Gatineau Olympiques.[14]

The Montreal Juniors relocated in the summer of 2011 and became the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.[15] On August 22, 2011, the summer trade deadline in the QMJHL, Leblanc was traded by the Armada to the Shawinigan Cataractes for Cole Hawes. Because Leblanc was now eligible to play in the American Hockey League due to being 20-years-old, Blainville-Boisbriand received two draft choices from Shawinigan, who hosted (and won) the 2012 Memorial Cup, if Leblanc played.[16]

Professional career[edit]

Leblanc made his professional debut on October 27, 2011, scoring three points for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League, including potting the overtime winner, to give his team a 3-2 victory over the Rochester Americans.[17]

On November 28, 2011, Montreal recalled Leblanc from their Hamilton AHL affiliate to join the Canadiens; Leblanc had recorded four goals and six assists in fourteen games with the Bulldogs by that point.[18] He made his NHL debut November 30 against the Anaheim Ducks.[19] He recorded his first NHL point, an assist on a goal by Andrei Kostitsyn on December 3 against the Los Angeles Kings.[20] In addition, he scored his first NHL goal in a 4-3 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 15, 2011.[21] Leblanc split the remainder of the season playing with both Montreal and Hamilton. He played 42 games for the Canadiens, where he had five goals and five assists, and 31 games with the Bulldogs, scoring eleven goals and eleven assists.

With Leblanc failing to establish himself on the Canadiens roster, on June 14, 2014, he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.[22]

International play[edit]

An ice hockey player wearing full equipment is kneeling on the ice with a smirk on his face. His uniform clearly indicates he is part of a national team, and his surname is stickered on the front of his helmet
Leblanc at training camp for Team Canada in 2009
Medal record
Competitor for Canada Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Silver 2011 USA
Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
Gold 2008 Slovakia

Leblanc first participated in an international tournament when he played for the Canadian national junior team at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in August 2008. he led the team with three goals and added two assists for five points as Canada won the gold medal.[5] Leblanc was then invited to try out for the national junior prior to the 2010 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships but was one of the last players cut from the team.[23] There was speculation that since he played in the NCAA rather than the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) it hindered his chances of making the team, as CHL players had played considerably more games than those in the NCAA. Leblanc also had exams scheduled around the time of the camp.[24] He was invited to the summer camp the following year in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador and was one of the better players at the camp.[25] After the pre-tournament camp in December 2010, Leblanc was named to the final roster for the 2011 World Juniors.[23]

In Canada's first game against Russia, Leblanc earned his first point, an assist. He scored his first goal, short handed (Canada's first in the tournament), and added an assist in the second game, versus the Czech Republic.[26] He later notched an assist in the gold medal game, where Canada lost to Russia 5–3.[27] He finished the tournament with three goals and seven points over seven games and ranked fourth in team scoring.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Leblanc was born to Yves and Marie Leblanc in Pointe-Claire, a suburb of Montreal in Québec on January 26, 1991. Yves works as a chemist for Merck Frosst, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies and worked at their research facility in Montréal before it closed in 2009. He then transferred to their facility at Cambridge, Massachusetts, working four-day weeks and travelling back to Montréal on weekends. Marie works as a piano teacher. His younger brother Jean also plays hockey.[4]

Growing up on the West Island town of Kirkland, Quebec,[29] Leblanc first skated when he was three years old and entered organised hockey two years later. He first played in the Lakeshore Minor Hockey Association, then joined the Lac St. Louis Lions, a midget team based in Montréal, at age fifteen when it became apparent that he could pursue the sport at a higher level. Leblanc played two seasons for the Lions and led the triple-A league in scoring both times.[4]

While at Harvard, Leblanc was majoring in economics, and intends to eventually earn his degree. In lieu of this, he took a business class at McGill University in Montréal when he moved back to the city in 2010.[29]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2006–07 Lac St-Louis Lions QAAA 40 31 18 49 72 22 14 7 21 10
2007–08 Lac St-Louis Lions QAAA 43 54 37 91 152 14 8 14 22 76
2008–09 Omaha Lancers USHL 60 28 31 59 78 3 2 1 3 2
2009–10 Harvard Crimson ECAC 31 11 12 23 50
2010–11 Montreal Juniors QMJHL 51 26 32 58 100 10 6 3 9 16
2011–12 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 31 11 11 22 30
2011–12 Montreal Canadiens NHL 42 5 5 10 28
2012–13 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 62 10 8 18 53
2013–14 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 70 13 15 28 63
2013–14 Montreal Canadiens NHL 8 0 0 0 4
NHL totals 50 5 5 10 32

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2008 Canada Quebec U17 7th 5 3 3 6 8
2008 Canada IH18 1st 4 3 2 5 0
2011 Canada WJC 2nd 7 3 4 7 2
Junior totals 16 9 9 18 10

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
USHL Rookie of the Year 2009
Ivy League Rookie of the Year 2010
All-ECAC Hockey Rookie Team 2009–10

References[edit]

  1. ^ USHL (2010-08-02). "Leblanc Inks NHL Deal with Montreal Canadiens". USHL.com. Retrieved 2010-12-30. [dead link]
  2. ^ NHL.com (2009). "Louis Leblanc Prospect Card". NHL.com. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  3. ^ NHL Central Scouting (2009). "North American Skater Final Ranking, 2009". NHL.com. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  4. ^ a b c Phillips, Randy (2010-09-10). "Louis Leblanc takes centre ice". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 2010-12-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c McGourty, John (2009-05-22). "Leblanc hailed for work ethic and skills". NHL.com. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  6. ^ Canadian Press (2009-06-26). "Bell Centre erupts as Canadiens draft local forward Louis Leblanc". NHL.com. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  7. ^ Kimelman, Adam (2009-06-26). "Leblanc's selection a hit at Bell Centre". NHL.com. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  8. ^ NHL.com (2010-07-31). "Canadians sign '09 first-round pick Leblanc". NHL.com. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  9. ^ TSN.ca (2010-07-30). "Habs sign 2009 top draft pick Leblanc". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  10. ^ Canadian Press (2009-01-08). "QMJHL: Several trades made on deadline day". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  11. ^ Jahnke, Karl (2010-06-05). "MAINEiacs acquire first overall pick; Juniors trade for Louis Leblanc". LHJMQ.ca. Retrieved 2010-06-07. [dead link]
  12. ^ Montreal Canadiens (2010-09-27). "Canadiens assign 16 players to the Hamilton Bulldogs". Canadiens.com. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  13. ^ Phillips, Randy (2010-09-11). "Leblanc nets assist, but Juniors lose opener". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 2010-12-30. [dead link]
  14. ^ The Gazette (2010-09-13). "Leblanc pots four points as Juniors defeat Olympiques". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 2010-12-30. [dead link]
  15. ^ Laplante, Rog (2011-07-12). "Blainville-Boisbriand dévoile ses couleurs" (in French). LHJMQ.ca. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  16. ^ RDS.ca (2011-08-22). "Louis Leblanc échangé à Shawinigan" (in French). RDS.ca. 
  17. ^ Hickey, Pat (2011-10-29). "Pearn isn't hanging his head". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 2011-11-30. [dead link]
  18. ^ Canadian Press (2011-11-29). "Canadiens call up prospect Leblanc for West Coast trip". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  19. ^ Zupke, Curtis (2011-11-30). "Ducks end skid with win over Habs". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  20. ^ Zupke, Chris (2011-12-03). "Canadiens end skid with 2-1 win in L.A.". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  21. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/boxscore;_ylt=AvdXo3cEmge5fzVoSofigg17vLYF?gid=2011121510
  22. ^ "Ducks acquire Leblanc from Montreal". Anaheim Ducks. 2014-06-14. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  23. ^ a b Fragapane, Justin (2010-12-15). "Leblanc selected to Team Canada". Canadiens.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  24. ^ Hickey, Pat (2010-12-14). "Canadiens pick Leblanc to play for Canada at world juniors". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 2010-12-29. [dead link]
  25. ^ Canadian Press (2010-09-07). "QMJHL: Leblanc set to debut with Montreal". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  26. ^ Fragapane, Justin (2010-12-29). "Habs prospects shine at WJC". Canadiens.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  27. ^ "Game Summary" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  28. ^ "Player Statistics By Team" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  29. ^ a b Shoaltes, David (2010-12-27). "Canadian junior Louis Leblanc has brains and brawn". Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 2010-12-31. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Max Pacioretty
Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick
2009
Succeeded by
Jarred Tinordi