It’s official! The Calgary Flames’ 2020 third-round pick Jeremie Poirier has broken the Saint John Sea Dogs’ all-time scoring record for defencemen by lodging his 154th point in the QMJHL. This puts him past Thomas Chabot of the Ottawa Senators for the all-time record in one fewer game. It also pushes 2011 first-round pick and current Winnipeg Jet Nathan Beaulieu down to third.
Take a look at the primary assist which earned him the record:
Earlier this season, Poirier also broke the Sea Dogs’ record for most goals by a defenceman with this silky smooth goal. Take a look:
With this record, Poirier climbs up the all-time Sea Dogs scoring charts to 13th, and it wouldn’t be out of the question to see him even pass former Vancouver Canucks’ pick Steven Anthony for 12th all-time.
Across the league, Poirier sits 108th in all-time points-per-game in the Q, but this is likely to climb if he continues to be above a point-per-game for the remainder of the season. For now, he is ahead of the aforementioned Chabot, Francois Beauchemin, Jeremy Lauzon, and so many more.
How did we get here?
Drafted by the Calgary Flames in the third round of the 2020 NHL Draft, Poirier was expected to go late in the first round after putting up an impressive 53 points in 64 games in his draft year. However, worries about his defensive game dropped him to spot 72, where the Flames were able to nab him.
He has continued to grow his game in the two COVID seasons, being above a point-per-game last season and right at that mark this season. What has been even more impressive however is his defensive game. Poirier has gone from -25 in his draft year to a very good +11 this year, and what is more, his defensive impact on the ice has been especially noticeable. He has developed into a very good backchecker, and has improved his positioning to limit chances against.
This improvement was definitely one of the reasons the Flames offered him an entry-level contract earlier this season. Poirier is expected to report to the Stockton Heat to start next season.
What’s next for Poirier?
It is incredible to see Poirier climb ahead of Thomas Chabot, and should be very exciting for Flames fans. Poirier’s closest comparable at the time of his draft was Chabot, and the two have been constantly compared since. The two even work with the same defensive coach in Paul Boutilier, who was brought into Saint John earlier this season.
Even in our chat with him last season, Poirier noted the comparisons between the two ran deep. Here’s a clip of him talking about the comparison:
Video transcript “In the NHL, there are a lot of offensive defencemen, [guys] like Thomas Chabot in Ottawa—he played in Saint John too. The [defence] coach in Saint John, Jeff Cowan, coached him when he was in Saint John and he coached me. [Cowan’s] always making comparisons between both of us and talking about how I make plays like [Chabot] or how I’ll [make] the same mistakes or how I’ll [make] the same good plays as he was [making].
I think it just kind of makes sense to compare myself to a player like that and model my game after him cause he’s obviously a guy that skates [with] the puck well, and loves to shoot the puck too and skate with it. So I think for me to have a guy that played junior in the same organization with all the same people that I’m playing for—it’s always nice and I can model my game after him and [it will] just bring me a little closer to him and it’s just easy to compare my [game] with him
It is far too early to be penciling Poirier into the Flames’ lineup or to be projecting a $8 million contract for him just like Chabot. After all, it is difficult for defencemen to adapt to the pro game, but Poirier has taken enormous steps forward in his development and is a prospect Flames fans should start getting excited for now. If he can be the player that the Sea Dogs have in Saint John, he could be a huge help on the blueline in Calgary in a few seasons.