Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rangers Select Intimidating Defenseman Samuel Noreau at 136

At 136 the New York Rangers used the second of their two fifth round picks to select bruising defenseman Samuel Noreau, who currently plays for Baie-Comeau (QMJHL).  Noreau is listed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds and uses his size to play an intimidating game.  There is little there in terms of offensive skill, but his ability to be a shutdown defender down the line and physical presence makes him an intriguing addition to the Rangers system.  Last season he had 141 penalty minutes in 67 games last season.

This is yet another example of the Rangers, while looking for skill, also looking to add toughness to the organization and have more players capable of defending themselves and their teammates on the ice.

In talking with the media he told them that he tries to pattern his game after Chris Pronger.  If he can bring the nasty streak that Pronger does to a team, regardless of the offense or even the same quality defense, then he could have a spot in the NHL.

Scouts Take:
Noreau is a 6-5, 215-pound tough-as-nails punisher who doesn’t have much in the way of high-end skill, but has the size and nastiness to be a shutdown guy in time. He’s not a bad skater, though needs to work on his lateral movement and pivots/turns like many big players on D. This dude can really fight, too. With his size and strength, he ragdolls guys and stands in and throws them against the tougher comers/enforcers in the QMJHL.