Leblanc, a 5’11, 170 pound center currently playing for Omaha in the United States Hockey League is an early favorite to be a 2009 1st Round draft pick. Committed to Harvard, Leblanc chose to forego the Major Route to concentrate on academics and subsequently played his 16 year old season for the Lac St. Louis Lions AAA team. A speedy and skilled center, Leblanc represented Canada on its U-18 team at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and continued to turn heads at the USHL Fall Classic last weekend.
He plays a smart game and is creative with the puck. Not overly big or physical, he doesn’t shy away from corners or traffic either. In the two games Illegal Curve witnessed, he seems to be more of a playmaker than shooter, but did bury his chances when given the opportunity (he scored 54 goals and only 37 assists in his last year of AAA). This suggests that he may be more of a shooter. Leblanc seemed to mesh well with Montreal Canadiens draft pick Danny Kristo and was able to create something on most shifts. His defensive work may need a little seasoning, as his line seemed to operate under the equal opportunity for both teams mantra.
Of note, Leblanc also led his AAA team in penalty minutes by a wide margin. Illegal Curve didn’t notice much of a mean streak, but the season is long and the Lancers will have to play Lincoln a few times. If he is feisty, we will find out soon enough. His work ethic is certainly sound, as he won’t give up on the puck. That being said, the ethic seems to wane a little on the backcheck.