“Highly skilled, intelligent & determined 2-way forward who does the little things to win” That is how ISS hockey described the 6’1″, 190 pound Benoit-Olivier Groulx. Groulx, who plays for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junor Hockey League (QMJHL), is the son of long time QMJHL, and current Syracuse Crunch (of the AHL) Benoit Groulx. Benoit-Olivier Groulx was born in Rouen, France, but he grew up in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. Groulx represents Canada in international play.
Today we’ll be looking at Benoit-Olivier Groulx’s stats, how he plays, and if he’s a fit for the Detroit Red Wings.
Ranked #24 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #22 by ISS HOCKEY
Benoit-Olivier Groulx’s stats are not the most impressive thing in the world, but you have to remember, he’s defensively responsible. You can tell he also has some grit to him with the 100 penalty minutes in 68 games.
Now for the eye test, this is something I could’ve done myself, as I’ve been to Halifax Mooseheads games and have kept a close eye on Benoit-Olivier Groulx, as well as Jared McIsaac, Filip Zadina, and Alexis Gravel. But I thought the smart, and fun thing to do would be to reach out to Halifax Mooseheads reporter, and viewer of every game, Scott MacIntosh (@scottmacintosh4 on twitter), and ask him a few questions on Benoit Olivier-Groulx, and also Jared McIsaac. The Jared McIsaac piece will be out early next month.
My first question was “how does each player play, do they have any NHL comparables so we can really get a sense of how they play?” Scott’s response on Benoit-Olivier Groulx was “Better known as BO, he plays an all-around game. He is great along the boards in puck battles. Although he won’t grab any headlines with his offense but he goes to the dirty areas of the ice and scores his share of goals. He is very hard for the opponent to play against and is very responsible defensively. His compete level is among the best in the QMJHL. His best NHL comparison would be Jonathan Toews.”
For my second question I wanted to know what the ceiling of BO Groulx is, so I asked “Where would you see the ceiling being for each player (BO Groulx) assuming they hit the peak of their potential, what is their most likely potential they reach?” Scott responded with “It’s hard to predict peak potential for most 18-year-old players but I certainly think Groulx can become a top-six forward in the NHL someday.”
For my next question, I wanted to know what BO Groulx is like off ice, I asked ” What is their (BO Groulx) attitude, and work ethic like behind the scenes?” Scott happily responded with “BO is very much a leader on the Mooseheads both on and off the ice. He transitioned into that role at a young age and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him wear a letter next season. He has a great sense of humour and gets along well with everyone on the team including staff.”
For my last, and final question, I wanted to know what BO Groulx needed to improve on, I asked “what are some things that they (BO Groulx) need to work on to eventually make it to the NHL? Scott simply responded with ” Like most kids his age, Groulx will need to improve his skating and strength in order to be successful at the next level. He has improved greatly since coming to the team in 2016.”
Now, after what I’ve seen from BO Groulx I agree with everything Scott said. Groulx is a strong two-way forward with top-6 potential. I think there is a very good chance that Groulx makes the NHL, he could play anywhere in a lineup and still be useful.
Fit With The Red Wings
The Red Wings will be looking for a forward with their second first round pick, and Wings staff have been to Mooseheads games (I know because I saw Kris Draper at a game that I went to). But with Groulx, they would be drafting someone who could be a 2nd or 3rd line center. But Detroit isn’t really looking for that to my knowledge. The Red Wings are looking for “Home-run” draft picks. BO Groulx isn’t really one of those players. Groulx will most likely be a solid NHLer, but he probably won’t be a game-changing player, which is who the Red Wings are looking for. I say the Wings pass on him unless he’s still available by the Wings’ second round pick, not the Sens second round pick.