After announcing the Raymond-Lagacé finalists for the best defensive rookie last Friday, the league today unveiled the three nominees for the top offensive rookie. The 2019–2020 finalists are Zachary Bolduc of the Rimouski Océanic, Zachary Dean of the Gatineau Olympiques and Zachary L’Heureux of the Moncton Wildcats.
The award is named after Michel Bergeron, who coached four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League between 1975 and 1980, winning the President Cup in 1978. He subsequently served as Head Coach of the Quebec Nordiques and the New York Rangers for eleven seasons in the National Hockey League. Past recipients of this award include many QMJHL Hall of Famers such as Pat LaFontaine, Martin Lapointe and Vincent Lecavalier.
There was uncertainty regarding Zachary Bolduc’s presence in the QMJHL this season. After playing six games with the Rhode Island Saints U16 team and two games with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers, the Trois-Rivières native joined the Rimouski Océanic for what would end up being one of his best offensive seasons. The first round selection of the 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft didn’t disappoint, scoring 30 goals (most among rookies) and adding 22 assists in 55 games played.
Zachary Dean allowed Olympiques fans to turn their dreams of a bright future in Gatineau into reality. Selected fourth overall in the 2019 Q Draft, the 5’9” forward quickly proved to be one of the league’s up and coming superstars. The Grande Prairie, Alberta native registered 46 points (18 goals and 28 assists) in 57 games in 2019–2020. The Olympiques hold three first round picks at the upcoming QMJHL Draft, ensuring that Dean will be well-surrounded in the Outaouais region for the next few campaigns.
Zachary L’Heureux finished tied for first for most points amongst QMJHL rookies this season. The Mercier native posted the best offensive season of his career, scoring 20 goals and adding 33 helpers in 55 games. He was one of the critical pieces for the Moncton Wildcats’ successes in 2019–2020, finishing as the league’s top rookie with a +35 differential. L’Heureux will look to take on an even bigger role next season with the departure of some key veterans in Moncton.
All three Michel-Bergeron finalists represented Canada at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.