Why You Should Care About Anthony Duclair

Duclair skating with the puck. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

In the 2013 NHL Entry Draft the New York Rangers without picks in the first and second round, decided to get creative. The goal was to find hidden gems that teams passed on, that could produce big return for the club in the not to distant future.

The team’s third and final pick in the third round was forward Anthony Duclair, out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Viewing highlights from Anthony Duclair, you realize the gem the Rangers got, and how in the next two to three years, his jerseys will be a hot seller around the Garden.

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What you can see from this short highlight are NHL caliber goals. While you see the flashy goals and highlight reel goals, he’s also known to get in the dirty areas and get tallies near the goal line, which is exactly what you need to be successful in the NHL.

His speed is comparable to that of Chris Kreider, but with Duclair, I see him turning on the jets at any minute and skating around the defense and scoring a big goal for the team. He has those shifty gears that make defenders second guess and creates space.

This year, the World Junior Championship will be held in Duclair’s home country of Canada. The eyes will be set on Conor McDavid, who is destined to be the overall number one pick of the 2015 entry draft, but there will be eyes set on Duclair as well. Duclair has significant attention on him after a year in which he scored 50 goals. He will need to show that his 2013-14 campaign was not a fluke and that he’s ready to raise his game to the next level. Early Team Canada junior camp indications proved he’s ready for that challenge.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBHeKDv1f-g]

Another chance for Duclair to shine starts at the end of this week in Traverse City, Michigan for the annual prospect tournament. Duclair will lead a group of Rangers prospects in this tournament, one they have not won since 2007.

Duclair during an interview with BlueshirtsUnited.com’s Jim Cerny talked about some of the changes he’s made during the last prospect camp, one of them was getting bigger and stronger. He also wants to raise a few eyebrows when it comes to training camp. While he wants to make the team, he understands that the chances are very slim this year. Duclair does realize that it’s important for him to raise his game, and perform at a high level with the Quebec Ramparts as well.

Though there are some concerns over the concussion he received late in the season this past year, Duclair is ready to prove that his will be his last season in the QMJHL. His mission will be to try to crack a spot in the Rangers lineup starting the 2015-16 regular season.

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