By Matt Calamia
The Rangers’ decision to draft Anthony Duclair in the third-round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft seems even sweeter after the announcement that the winger is a finalist for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player.
Along with Duclair, the other two finalists for the award are fellow 2013 draft picks Jonathan Drouin, who was taken third overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Anthony Mantha, who was selected by the Detroit Red Wings at No. 20.
The Quebec Remparts star finished second in goals in the QMJHL with 50, and was sixth in scoring with 99 points in 59 games. Duclair missed the final two weeks of the regular season with a head injury, though there is hope he can play in the postseason.
The 18-year-old posted career-highs in all three scoring categories, including 30 more goals and 19 more assists than a season ago.
Duclair posted a career-best seven-point game on Jan. 30, with two goals and five assists against Halifax. The winger was consistent from the start of the year through its conclusion, and had 13 three-plus point games, including five four-point nights and four hat-tricks (one four-goal game). Duclair never went more than two games without registering a point all season, and had one scoring streak of nine games and another of eight.
The Montreal, QC-native was named one of the League’s three stars of the month twice, and a three star of the week five times.
Duclair and the seventh-ranked Quebec Remparts will face No. 10 Rouyn-Noranda in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs, which begin Friday night.