Calgary Flames

Justin Poirier is turning heads in the QMJHL and should be a Calgary Flames draft target

With the way the 2023–24 season has started for the Calgary Flames, the 2024 NHL Draft is on track to be a major event for a franchise likely entering a rebuild. If the Flames do end up moving out some of their pending unrestricted free agents for draft picks, they could enter the draft next summer with more than a handful of picks. If that’s the case, they’ll have a great opportunity to kick-start a new era in Calgary.

One of the names the Flames should absolutely be watching as the season goes on is Justin Poirier, the brother of top Flames prospect and Calgary Wrangler Jeremie Poirier. The younger Poirier has been tearing up the QMJHL this season and has garnered some attention around the league already.

Poirier would be a great fit with the Flames

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As mentioned above, Justin Poirier is the younger brother of Flames 2020 third-round pick Jeremie Poirier. He’s four years younger and is currently in his sophomore season in the QMJHL. He was originally selected fourth overall at the 2022 QMJHL Draft. He’s currently projected to go somewhere in the second round of the 2024 NHL Draft.

The 17-year-old could and should be the exact type of player the Flames target in the 2024 draft. Although he stands at just 5’8″, he already weighs in at 190 pounds and could be described as a power forward despite his height.

He’s also a high-end goal scorer. If you’ve watched even one period of Flames hockey this season you’ll know how desperate they are for help in the goal-scoring department. Poirier has a great shot and flat-out knows how to put the puck in the net. Sign me up.

As well he plays a position the Flames are seriously lacking in right now as he is a right-shot, right winger. Currently, the only right-shot winger employed by the Flames is Walker Duehr who has been a regular healthy scratch this season. It’s obviously a major weakness on the roster right now. Looking further into the Flames system the only right-shot, right winger of note with top-six upside is Matthew Coronato.

Poirier is lighting up the QMJHL

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Although he’s only halfway through his second QMJHL season, Poirier has already made a major mark on the league. He’s currently scored a combined 50 goals in just 80 QMJHL games, along with 78 points.

After his impressive 2022–23 rookie season that saw him finish tops among all QMJHL rookies with 28 goals and fifth with 48 points, Poirier has taken another big step this season. He’s currently scoring at nearly a goal-per-game pace, sitting with 22 goals in just 25 games. His 22 goals currently rank first in the entire QMJHL while his 30 points rank sixth. Among draft-eligible players, he ranks second for points behind only Alexandre Blais.

His current torrid goal pace has him on track for 60 goals in 68 games. That would be the highest goal total by a draft eligible player in the QMJHL since Sidney Crosby put up 68 goals during his D+0 year in 2004–05. Not exactly bad company.

Looking ahead to the 2024 draft class

It’s obviously still way too early to start talking in depth about the 2024 NHL Draft, but the odds are the Flames will be making quite a few picks within the first two or three rounds. Poirier fits the exact needs of the Flames prospect pool and as the younger brother of one of the organization’s top prospects, it makes a ton of sense to keep an eye on Poirier as the season goes on.

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