BUFFALO – At the junior level, Pierrick Dubé was recognized for excelling in crucial moments. To his delight, the trend seems set to continue during his professional trial with the Canadiens.
The 21-year-old Quebecer presented a very encouraging performance for the future. Knowing very well that his room for maneuver is minimal, Dubé was able to get noticed for the right reasons.
If it wasn’t too surprising to see him create a few scoring chances, Dubé showed that he could add strings to his bow by blocking shots and evolving in numerical inferiority.
“I think I played more shorthanded in that game than in my entire junior career,” he said with a smile. All I want is to become a complete player. I tasted a new aspect and liked it using my speed.”
“I know he’s a power play player, but Lappy (assistant Martin Laperrière) managed him a bit in Quebec and we know his speed. He’s smart and he uses his stick well,” commented head coach Jean-François Houle, who was not afraid to rely on him.
Over the questions after the match, we better understood how Dubé was able to integrate new elements into his arsenal.
“In junior, I was more recognized as an offensive player. But I practiced with guys like (Patrice) Bergeron and (Philip) Danault this summer. I went on the ice three times a week with them,” mentioned Dubé, who scored several important goals in the Shawinigan Cataractes’ recent playoff run.
“They gave me advice. Offensive players in the NHL, there are thousands, if you will, so if I want to get to the next level I have to work on defensive elements. I worked on it this summer with Bergeron, he helped me a lot, ”he continued.
No doubt, Dubé has taken the means to be well surrounded when he wants to break into the professional level.
“It was the third summer that I trained with them. To rub shoulders with guys who have long careers in the NHL and who are dominant players, it’s always fun.
No matter what they say to me, it goes in one ear and it stays in my head. These are tips that are worth gold. I can just build on that,” admitted Dubé, who also trained with the Cataractes prior to this tournament.
Of course, he would have loved to hit the target, especially when he snuck in on a breakaway with two minutes left in the final third.
“These are chances you have to capitalize on in the pro, it’s the second less you have compared to the junior. It’s not fun to miss your chance and the opponent scores ten seconds later, ”reacted Dubé.
His first professional test in the jersey of the Canadiens, however, remains a success.
“I think I had a good first performance, I skated well, I was intense and I created chances to score”, concluded while a good complicity could be detected with Cédrick Guindon and Brett Stapley.