Harvey-Pinard’s consistency is one of the keys to the Rocket success
The Rocket are currently on one of the best streaks of its young history. Not only is the team winning a lot of games but it’s doing so with the help of the young prospects of the organization.
During the last few days, the strong play of Joël Teasdale, Ryan Poehling and Jesse Ylönen have been noted multiple times, and with good reason. Another youngsters play that is helping the Rocket a lot recently is Rafaël Harvey-Pinard.
“I think he’s a nice example for young hockey players from Quebec” revealed Laval Rocket head coach Joël Bouchard talking about Harvey-Pinard. “To see how a young player who’s not very tall but still is able to play in an intense way and on the inside.”
The first-year pro playing at the forward position is one of five players who participated in every Rocket game this year (Ylönen, Weal, Leskinen and Schueneman being the others). He’s doing so with big responsibilities as he is playing on the first line of the team while also helping on the penalty kill where he also applies some offensive pressure.
An element that’s obvious in Rafaël Harvey-Pinard’s game is consistency night after night. Since the beginning of the season, he has recorded a shot on goal in every single game he played except one. He’s leading the Rocket in games with at least one shot with Corey Schueneman and Lukas Vejdemo.
“Rafaël has a consistency in his play, that’s his strength” noted Bouchard. “He’s a hockey player. He can play anywhere on the ice, whether it’s left or the right, the power play or the penalty kill. He plays the right way and doesn’t over-complicate things.”
This consistency is starting to show on the scoreboard. Harvey-Pinard record a point in the four games against the Stockton Heat in Calgary. Despite the winning streak, he is the only Rocket player who has accomplished that feat.
His efficiency doesn’t only show on the scoresheet. At 5 on 5, he was one the Rocket’s best players against the Heat. In fact, he maintained the best Corsi percentage among Laval forwards during this Calgary stint with an impressive 68,33%. This is impressive because anything higher than 66,67% means that the Rocket has more than the double of shot attempts than their opponent at 5 on 5 when Rafaël Harvey-Pinard is on the ice (41-19 in this case).
Harvey-Pinard was the best forward in this aspect against the Heat but he also saw that puck possession leads to scoring chances. He ended the four games series against Stockton with a +7 scoring chances differential at 5 on 5. This is definitely the type of performance that leads to team success.
“He does all the little things very well” summarized his center Jordan Weal. “He’s really buying in the system, working his tail off every game, every practice and that’s all you can ask for from a guy like that.”
It’s obvious when you watch Laval play these days that there is no shortage of young talent with the Rocket and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard belongs in that group. Not only is he efficient but he’s maintaining a precedent set in the organization about small feisty forwards wearing the #11.