Inconsistent Daniel Audette Adds Goalscoring Touch

For the second straight season Daniel Audette led the Sherbrooke Phoenix in scoring. | Photo: lhjmq.qc.ca

Big things were expected of Daniel Audette. At first, he delivered. The speedy centre posted 28 points in his first 16 games, including two hat tricks and a six-point game. However, in the remaining 46 games, Audette posted 45 points. Solid totals for sure, but it was his overall play that suffered.

Interestingly enough, Audette’s early season production can be explained rather easily: A dominant powerplay combined with an unsustainable shooting percentage. He racked up nine of 14 powerplay goals in his first 16 games, shooting at a 26.7% rate. Apart from a solid stretch toward the end of the season (which he produced 23 points in 17 games), Audette spent much of the middle of the season making little impact on the scoresheet.

The dynamic duo of Kay Schweri and Tim Wieser often supplanted Daniel Audette’s line as the top one. Last year, Audette was second in terms of eTOI/GP on Sherbrooke according to CHLStats.com, but fourth this past season. Audette, an excellent powerplay specialist, found himself handling the puck much less with the man-advantage, largely due to Schweri’s excellent playmaking ability.

**Statistics courtesy of CHLStats.com**PointsPPGeP/60TmPt%eTOINHLe
#731.224.8139.04%15.1926
Rank on Team1st2nd3rd1st4th-

Inconsistent production is normal and expected; however, inconsistent play is not. Simply put, he played selfish. He lugged the puck too much by himself and was prone undisciplined penalties. The centre made improvements in the faceoff dot (improving from 39.7% to 44.7%), but still isn’t nearly good enough. Despite owning tremendous skating ability, he too often trails the play defensively (which is frustrating because when engaged he’s a fairly solid two-way player).

However, this wasn’t an all-bad season. Audette’s lack of powerplay production in the second half forced him to improve his play at even-strength. Selfish play aside, he presented himself as more of threat than ever at five-on-five, specifically as a shooter. Although he didn’t shoot more than two seasons ago, his shot seemed deadlier than ever, helping him hit a career-high 29 goals. Furthermore, he continued to demonstrate excellent vision and stickhandling ability, which came together for some incredible highlights.

Next season, Audette will return to Sherbrooke, where he will be counted on to be a leader as a fourth-year player. Becoming a more complete, selfless player will certainly help push Audette to become the elite QMJHL player he has the talent to be.

 

Note: Special thanks goes out to François Carignan (@CarignanTQN) of TheQNews.net and All About The Habs for helping me put together this article! 

Note: I highly recommend checking out CHLStats.com. It’s important to keep in mind that many of the statistics are estimates, so I would advise to focus on the placement relative to the team/league, not the number itself.

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