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Looking at Elliot Desnoyers’ goals this season

The fifth-round pick has been on fire in the QMJHL.

Moncton Wildcats v Quebec Remparts Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

General manager Chuck Fletcher raised some eyebrows at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft when he traded a pair of seventh-round picks to the Nashville Predators for the 135th overall selection to take Elliot Desnoyers. The idea of packaging picks to move up in the draft isn’t uncommon, but to do so for a forward that barely averaged over 0.5 points-per-game in two QMJHL seasons seems a bit questionable. Less than a quarter into the 2020-21 season though it’s becoming pretty clear what Fletcher and company saw in the Quebec native when they drafted him last month.

In his first two QMJHL seasons Desnoyers accrued 23 total goals in 122 games for the Moncton Wildcats with 12 tucks in 61 contests in 2018-19 before his total dropped to 11 in the same number of tilts last season. Following an offseason trade where he and Zachary L’Heureux were dealt to the Halifax Mooseheads in exchange for a mess of draft picks Desnoyers has been filling the back of the net at an impressive clip. Although his 27.5 shooting percentage at the moment isn’t going to be the rate he racks up tallies for the remainder of the season it’s still eye-opening that he’s second in the QMJHL with 11 goals and has a chance to set his career-high for a single season in the category by his 13th appearance of 2020-21. The fifth-round selection has been one of the best stories surrounding the Flyers over the last few weeks so let’s see how he has been lighting the lamp this season.

Unfortunately there’s no video of Desnoyers’ first goal of the year (probably because the lamestream media doesn’t want you to know that general manager Chuck Fletcher may have found a gem in the later round of the 2020 draft), but there’s proof of the rest of his markers. His second goal of the 2019-20 campaign was his sixth point in his sixth game. He had a pretty nice takeaway in the neutral zone on Calgary Flames’ prospect Jeremie Poirier, a defenseman who was taken 63 picks ahead of Desnoyers at 72nd overall in the third round of this year’s draft…

...which led to him ripping one short side on Creed Jones.

Desnoyers missed his shootout attempt on Jones later in the game, but Halifax still secured the 5-4 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs on October 17th.

A week later and a day after a two-assist game against the Cape Breton Eagles, Desnoyers provided a four-goal performance against the Eagles in a 10-2 shellacking for the Mooseheads. His first two that night came with a little help from poor goalie play, as he had a bad-angle wrister squeak through starting goalie William Grimard and trickle over the goal line in the final minute of the opening frame.

It took all of 11 seconds after Landon Miron extended Halifax’s lead to four early in the third period for Desnoyers to make it a five-goal difference thanks to Nicolas Ruccia’s gaffe with the puck.

The Flyers’ prospect completed the hat trick less than three minutes later thanks to a great deke and dish by 2022 NHL Draft prospect Jordan Dumais.

Desnoyers completed his incredible evening by potting the final goal of the 12-tally affair with 48.4 ticks remaining in regulation.

The forward decided to take a pair of contests off, where he only produced one assist, before he struck with his second four-goal outing in a span of four games and two weeks. This time he pulled off The Jiri Dopita in a much closer tilt as Desnoyers’ second outburst came in a 5-4 win over the Charlottetown Islanders last Friday. Desnoyers says he models himself after Brendan Gallagher in the most recent CHL Sunday Spotlight and mimicked the Montreal Canadien’s tenacity near the crease for his first goal just 22 seconds into the win.

He provided another Gallagher-esque netmouth play later in the opening frame, as he worked his way to the front of the net to redirect Justin Barron’s (Colorado Avalanche) pass past Jacob Goobie.

Desnoyers once again worked his way to the cage to complete his hat trick late in the second period, but this time it was thanks to a nice move to work past Noah Laaouan to make it a 3-3 contest with 4:02 left in the middle stanza.

With the game tied 4-4 in the final minute Desnoyers managed to drive to the net and potted a greasy goal with 35.7 seconds remaining to finalize the score.

His most recent goal came a day after his latest four-goal night, as he worked Noah Patenaude in the second period of an eventual 5-4 overtime victory over the Sea Dogs on Saturday. That move looks a little familiar doesn’t it?

Desnoyers has a chance to set his new high for goals in a single QMJHL season tonight when the Mooseheads take on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Even if he doesn’t pot one this evening the Flyers’ prospect could still break his own benchmark in just a quarter of the games he’s played in each of the last two seasons. With 20 points overall and 40 shots on goal in his first 12 tilts, Desnoyers is most likely also going to break his highs of 35 points and 153 shots on goal in a single QMJHL campaign, both of which he posted in 61 games last year. Perhaps the change of scenery from Moncton to Halifax has helped cause the outburst, but whatever it is Fletcher and the front office are looking pretty smart at the moment.

*Highlights courtesy of the QMJHL’s official website.