Delisle A Rarity Among Baby Buds

By Stephen J. Holodinsky

In a system full of promising two-way rearguards and with a goodly amount of grinders and playmakers, when Miguel Delisle finally graduates from the CHL next season, he should have little problem finding a spot for his talents on The Rock. You see, Delisle is that rarest of birds in minor Leafland, he is a born and bred sniper. Unlike Jeff Farkas, the big club’s next hope to take a spot on the wing of a scoring line, who is a converted pivot, the Ottawa 67 is a finisher through and through. Jake Dole, Hockey’s Future’s Analyst in the nation’s capital points out that while his slap shot is “nothing to sneeze at” it’s his wrist shot that makes him. He describes it as being “very quick and deadly accurate”and goes on to say he “likes to go high and goalies have trouble adjusting to the way he hides the puck with his stick.”

“Another part of his game that defines him as a pure sniper” maintains Dole is his puckhandling at speed. “(Delisle) can motor like a train with and without the puck.” He goes on to say that the flanker is “very agile and hard to pinpoint at any time on the ice.” Because of this and the factthat he is “very strong on his skates, (he) works well in traffic and checking does not intimidate him.” That said, our man in Ottawa readily admits that the winger is “not your typical intimidator. Doesn’t spend enough time in the corners (and) likes to stay and wait for pass.” Although he “has no problems going to the net with authority, he’s not a Tomas Holmstrom, preferring to stay on the wing or at the point.

Defensively, the Cornwall, Ontario native while “very good” at reading the play and possessing a knack for anticipating the path of loose pucks, is “a bit of a floater on defense; (being) mainly offensively minded.” In addition Delisle needs to ratchet up his body-checking. Doles observes that he “has been increasingly more involved physically, but needs to bulk up more.” On the other hand, he doesn’t fade in the clutch. “When his team is behind a goal with a minute to go, he will want the puck.”

Brian Kilrea makes a telling observation about his charge when he says “When he’s on his game, you’ll find that he gets his chances and skates well; it’s on the other nights when you find that when he doesn’t get chances, it’s a different story.” There’s a fork in the road coming for Miguel Delisle. There are going to be nights in his future when he is going to be checked too closely to do much offensively. If he can deal with that and still contribute something in other ways to the team’s success he’ll make in the NHL.