Jesse Gabrielle-Left Wing, Prince George Cougars (WHL)
The Brad Marchand-clone is having another terrific season in the WHL. After putting up 40 goals and 75 points in 72 games last season, Gabrielle is at it again with 19 goals and 33 points in 33 games this season. The 6-foot, 205-pound Saskatchewan native has deliberately modeled his game after “The Little Ball of Hate,” and the results thus far have been great. Not only is he adept at agitating, but he’s more than capable fighting his own battles (literally) and dishing out punishing checks.
He possesses a good stride and acceleration, above average puck skills, and a sneaky good shot. The 105th Selection in the 2015 Draft recently signed his entry-level deal with Boston, and could very well wind up being a real steal at his draft spot. Also like Marchand, Gabrielle possesses the style of game that would allow him to begin his NHL career in Boston’s bottom-six, unlike a more finesse-driven player. He could even wind up competing for a fourth line spot next season.
Few expected Brad Marchand to develop into an NHL All-Star after being a Third Round Pick. Should Gabrielle develop into just a solid third-line player (well within his capability) the B’s could have a prototypical “Bruin” on their hands.