(Buffalo) A rookie tournament can be a trap for players more seasoned than 18-year-olds who have just been drafted. At the start of this tournament, for example, Jean-François Houle had indicated that he expected Emil Heineman, with his three years of experience among the pros, to “come out”. The Swede was finally very quiet.
William Trudeau doesn’t have as much mileage, but he will soon be 21 and spent last season in the American League. However, he seemed dominant all weekend, and Houle made the same observation.
The Rocket head coach was called upon to name the players who had most respected their identity. He first named Jan Mysak, then David Reinbacher and Logan Mailloux, before arriving at Trudeau.
“Trudeau, he was the one who ran the patent,” said Houle. When he skates and his head is held high, it’s fun to see him the same way.
“He was the most consistent in the tournament. His experience paid off. [Lundi], he was one of the best on the ice. »
At 6 ft and 196 lbs, Trudeau has a decent size, but not imposing for a defender. However, he played with an aggressiveness and a combativeness that should serve him well, while preparing a few scoring chances for his teammates and avoiding blatant errors. We can guess that this is how he “won the patent”.
“Before the big camp, I played two good matches,” said the principal concerned. I just want to continue doing what I did well. It was a great experience. »
Due to the factors mentioned at the beginning of the text, Trudeau or anyone from the Canadiens could not arrive in Buffalo this weekend with the chance of ensuring they start the season in Montreal. The level of competition just isn’t high enough, especially in Monday’s game against a Senators who left their top prospects behind.
But the Varennois wore the captain’s “C” in the two duels he played and he was paired with Reinbacher, in whom the Canadian believed to the point of drafting him in 5e rank in June. The CH demonstrated its confidence in Trudeau, who reflected it well on the team.
After Friday’s match, Reinbacher called Trudeau “incredible.” “He’s the leader. He deserves to wear the C. He helped me a lot, he talked to me, showed me things,” said the Austrian.
The rest will be interesting for Trudeau, who continues to exceed expectations. In 2021, he was 113e drafted player. Even with the Canadian, he was the third defender requested, after Mailloux and Dmitri Kostenko. And the administration that drafted him was wiped out, with the exception of Martin Lapointe. It should be noted, however, that Trudeau is a client of Quartexx, the firm that Kent Hughes managed in his former life. The general manager of the Habs therefore knows who he is dealing with.
Nevertheless, while the Mailloux, Reinbacher, Justin Barron and Arber Xhekaj are making headlines, Trudeau discreetly continues his path. He sent a first message last year by securing a position with the Rocket, even though he was eligible to return to the junior ranks. This followed a summer of 2022 during which his sense of initiative was noted, since he trained all summer in Brossard, in the team’s facilities, and hosted Xavier Simoneau so that he too can do it.
“Trudeau has made a lot of effort and as a player you have to invest somewhere. They [Trudeau et Simoneau] understood that spending time in Brossard is an investment,” noted Francis Bouillon. Trudeau still held his summer training in Brossard, where he was able to get to know certain players better, including Reinbacher.
His rating is clearly not going down in the organization.
“It’s going quickly, but I don’t want to think about it too much,” Trudeau said. I continue to improve. I am now here today. »