Pierre-Luc Lessard, native of Thetford Mines, Quebec, was the Ottawa Senators 4th Round Pick, 121st overall in 2006. He’s still several years away from playing in the NHL, but his development has been very positive.
2002-03: Lessard played in the QMAA for Beauce-Amiante’s AA team. In 24 games, he scored 13 points and 20 penalty minutes.
2003-04: Moving up a level, Lessard continued to develop with the Beauce-Amiante organization. Lessard picked up 18 points and 32 penalty minutes in 22 games.
2004-05: The Gatineau Olympiques selected Lessard in the first round of the 2004 QMJHL Draft. He made the squad out of camp as the team’s seventh defenseman, but began to earn a regular shift towards the end of the season, finishing his rookie campaign with 9 points in 48 games. In the playoffs, Lessard picked up two assists in 10 games.
2005-06: Lessard quickly became a key player on the Gatineau Olympiques blueline. In his second season, Lessard was a go-to defenseman for the Olympiques. He was a top-pair defenseman playing regularly on the power play and occasionally on the penalty kill. He finished the season with 7 goals, 32 points, 38 penalty minutes and a +7 rating in 55 games. Lessard was effective on the power play where he scored 5 of his 7 goals. In the playoffs, Lessard’s role increased and he was a key player finishing with 12 points in 17 matches. He continued to show his prowess on the power play scoring both his post-season goals on the man-advantage. Lessard was a +3 and also picked up 12 penalty minutes.
2006-07: Lessard spent the 2006-07 season with the Prince Edward Island Rocket after a draft-day deal that sent Edmonton Oiler prospect Viatcheslav Trukhno to Gatineau. The smooth-skating two-way defenseman had a respectable season accumulating 12 goals and 22 assists to go with 77 penalty minutes in 70 games. In 7 playoff games with PEI, Lessard picked up two assists.
Lessard is a smooth-skating two-way defenseman who loves to jump up into the play. He is a good decision maker, picking the right time to move up so as not to detriment his defensive game. With a great shot, excellent vision and creativity with the puck, Lessard is a very handy offensive player who excels on the power play. He is also a very poised in the defensive zone. Not overly large, he still will get in the face of the opposition, and keeps much of the play to the perimeter. A hard worker who will occasionally hit, Lessard is one of the better defensemen in the QMJHL.
Lessard has the ability and coolness under pressure to potentially be a second-pairing defenseman who could play in all situation, making him a valuable prospect for the Senators. He’s still several years away from playing in the NHL and still has a year left of junior eligibility. He has not been offered a contract by Ottawa and will likely return to PEI for a final year.