Featured Athlete: Pierre-Olivier Joseph
In his second season with the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders, Pierre-Olivier Joseph has already earned the reputation of being one of the league’s top two-way defenseman. In 62 games, he recorded 39 points, which led all first-time draft-eligible defensemen in the league. This is made even more impressive when you consider he shared time on the blueline with three other players who were NHL draft picks.
In addition to his offensive acumen, Joseph makes life difficult for opposing forwards on the defensive end. He leverages his extremely high hockey IQ, long reach and physicality to limit chances in the defensive end, and does an excellent job of getting the puck out of the zone. Furthermore, he is just as adept on the penalty kill as he is quarterbacking the powerplay.
What really sets Joseph apart for a 17 year-old is his character, maturity and leadership. On a team loaded with veteran players, Joseph has taken on a leadership role on the team as evidenced by the “A” on his jersey. He also sports strong bloodlines, as he is the younger brother of Mathieu Joseph who was a 4th round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a member of Team Canada at the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Joseph’s strong play this season has not gone unnoticed, as he was most recently ranked 19th overall in Craig Button’s 2017 NHL Draft rankings and 29th overall in hockeyprospect.com’s rankings. Regardless of where he is selected in June, any team drafting him can expect a high character player who will work hard to exceed all expectations.
Source: theqmjhl.com, tsn.ca, hockeyprospect.com