12:06PM: Darren Dreger tweets that the Rangers have been getting calls on Lemieux.
11:26AM: The Rangers have acquired Brendan Lemieux as part of the package from Winnipeg for Kevin Hayes.
Lemieux, 22, was drafted 31st overall in 2014 by Buffalo but traded to Winnipeg that season as part of an Evander Kane trade.
In his career, Lemieux has played:
- NHL: 53 games, 10 goals, 2 assists, 85 PIM
- AHL: 117 games, 33 goals, 32 assists, 306 PIM
- OHL: 209 games: 106 goals, 83 assists, 407 PIM
Since being drafted, Lemieux has had the following rankings in The Hockey News’ Future Watch Issues:
- 2015 THN Future Watch: 6th Jets Prospect (74th overall) “Agitator meets scorer. Lemieux has made more strides in his third junior season.”
- 2016 THN Future Watch: 7th Jets Prospect: “Pushy winger gives no-inch, scores and has improved discipline)
- 2017 THN Future Watch: 6th Jets Prospect: Strong agitating winger has skill, but is seeking consistency as a first-year pro.
- 2018 THN Future Watch: 4th Jets Prospect (94th overall): An injury prior to camp last season prevented him from putting his best foot forward in the AHL. Lemieux has left those difficulties in the past and the organization is impressed with the work he has done to transform his body. He’s bigger, stronger and faster – Cheveldayoff raved Lemieux was in “exceptional condition” – and the dedication to training has translated to greater production/ He could do a better job walking the fine line between peskiness and the penalty box.”
In his draft season, Lemieux was ranked 50th by McKeen’s Hockey. Their scouting report on him said:
- “A chip off the old block, Brendan plays much like his father Claude, a decorated 20-year NHL pro, with an innate ability to rattle the opposition
- Plays on the edge but can take unnecessary and costly penalties .. adding an element of discipline would benefit his game .. hampered by a wavering work ethic and does not always engage in a game from start to finish
- At his best when he is a bull down low displaying both power and skill that make him difficult to handle .. displays a tenacious net drive and will park himself in the slot .. backed by a deep bow legged skating style, he is quicker moving laterally and diagonally than he is straight ahead
- Sturdy balance makes him extremely difficult to knock off stride .. stopping on pucks would assist in his defensive game as he tends to coast into plays .. needs coaching on how to play away from the puck as he was routinely the last man back into the zone
- Lemieux’s game offers promising components and with added maturity, both on and off the ice, and a more diligent approach to commitment in all three zones he will maximize his potential.”
He was ranked 37th by Future Considerations and their scouting report said:
- “Lemieux is a solid skater, but it takes him a few strides to get up to speed. He works hard and what he lacks in speed, he makes up for in size and determination. He has the ability to pull away from players when in possession of the puck and is very agile.
- He pivots well, and is powerful in stops and starts. He dishes accurate, crisp passes and has good hands. He controls the puck with ease and the timing of his passes are near perfect. Has a very effective shot that he can get off in tight spaces. He uses his size to protect the puck well, and does not back down from a fight.
- He is a hard-nosed player who finds a way to always get to the net. Maturity is almost there but, at times loses his cool and doesn’t focus on the play at hand. He plays with an edge and is a real agitator, which can be costly at times. He is solid, allowing him to take hits along the wall.
- Even after a long shift, he does not quit and drives the net for scoring chances. He is one of the first back on the backcheck and his puck possession is incredible. He plays in all situations and delivers monstrous checks when the time is right. Covers his check in the defensive zone well and is great at removing players from the puck.”
They listed his potential as a “Top-Nine Physical Power Winger.”