Xavier Simoneau – The Process

Xavier Simoneau (4.25 Star Amateur Rating, NHL Grade — C) Forward

Neutral Zone NHL’s Ian Moran, May 2020: There’s no doubt Xavier can dish and has tremendous poise. He plays with his head up and has a real knack for out waiting the defenders. He just holds it and holds it until the defenseman moves his stick and then Boom.. the pass is by him and the puck is in the net. He’s deadly along the mid-wall or goal line on the power play and I honestly think his awareness will make him a great bumper option as well.

Neutral Zone NHL’s William White, March 2020: Simoneau is an undersized center who is listed at 5’7, but he has a huge heart and plays much bigger than that. He is always working, plays every shift at maximum effort and he plays in every situation for Drummondville. He makes good reads, battles on the forecheck, works to get back defensively and takes a majority of the draws for his team. He managed two assists in this one, one on a whacked puck in tight to the net and one on the game winner in OT. We like that he is always around the net and always giving a full effort. In his second year of NHL Draft Eligibility, Simoneau is listed at #211 on NHL Central Scouting’s list of prospects, but Neutral Zone has him currently ranked at number #148. Game Grade: B

February NHL Draft Rankings: Xavier was ranked #148 with ‘C+’ Neutral Zone NHL Draft grade in our February rankings.

Neutral Zone NHL’s Sortiri Athanasopoulos, February 2020: The captain of the Voltigeurs is the heartbeat of this hockey team playing each shift like it’s his last. Tireless worker with a good motor allows him to keep plays alive and find loose pucks around the net. At one point when it seemed like the momentum was leaning towards Gatineau’s end, Simoneau had an amazing shift where he won two puck battles in the offensive zone leading to scoring chances. Eventually he drew a penalty on this shift where the Voltigeurs would eventually score. Undersized but plays with snarl; challenges defenseman for body position, blocks shots and even finishes checks. Scored a sweet goal as the trailer in the third period holding onto the puck for an extra second before slipping it five hole. Not sure if he possesses the instincts or skill to score many points at the next level but will fill a bottom six role as an energy type player. Game Grade: B (Projected round 5-7)

QMJHL – Drummondville Voltigeurs NHL Prospects vs Sherbrooke, January 2020: (Neutral Zone NHL’s William White) Simoneau may be smaller in stature–listed at 5’7 and 179 pounds–but his work ethic and heart are bigger than that. A very important player for the Voltigeurs, he deservedly wears the “C” on his sweater. A skilled forward with quick feet, Simoneau is a talented passer–setting teammates up for scoring chances on the PP and at even strength. His work on the penalty kill was impressive, battling to clear pucks and getting up the ice applying pressure on the fore-check. He takes the majority of the draws for Drummondville, and plays a lot of minutes in all situations. A pass-first guy, Simoneau is having a great year offensively, and his work ethic sticks out above others. He is ranked 211th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in his 2nd year of draft eligibility. Game Grade: B

Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images