He was a Halifax Moosehead, and he’ll look to make the long trip from Nova Scotia to Philadelphia before long.
A young man originally from Saint-Hyacinthe in Quebec, he spent the majority of his QMJHL career with the Moncton Wildcats until he was traded and has played 4 games with the Mooseheads this season, tallying 4 points (1 goal 3 assists) over that period. Before the trade in the 2019-20 season, he starred in 61 games for the Wildcats scoring 11 goals and adding 24 assists for 35 points.
These are not numbers that blow scouts out of the water and they are not why the Flyers jumped up and traded two picks to select Desnoyers with the 135th pick in the 5th round. The Flyers nabbed Desnoyers, who was ranked 87th in McKeen’s Hockey, because of the left winger’s two-way play. He’s known for being defensively responsible and willing to do whatever is needed. He may even be better off the puck than on it.
The 5’11” 172-pound prospect is a left-handed shot who skates very well. Brent Flahr, the Flyers assistant GM and Vice President, had some positive remarks on the pick.
“He’s a guy that our guys in the Quebec league were high on. He played on a very good Moncton team last year. Didn’t have a huge role, but got better and better throughout the year. This year, he’s moved to Halifax and has a big role on the team. He’s had a real good start. He’s a real hardworking, energy two-way center and wing. He’s playing center right now. He’s a real smart player, real detailed player. A player all coaches like. Our guys just think he’s going to get better and better there so we stepped up on him.”
He also brings up an interesting point. We’ve seen the skating and defensive abilities of Desnoyers for two seasons at Moncton in which he posted respectable 31 and 35 point seasons. This season he’s wearing the “A” in Halifax and playing higher in the lineup. We’ll see how much his offensive game evolves during this season and with the increased reliance on producing, not just playing a shutdown role. In a similar way to how Scott Laughton went from 23 points in his opening OHL season to 87 in his last.
Using Laughton as a numbers comparison is intentional. We’ve seen his role evolve at the NHL level, and Desnoyers is a player in a similar vein and has a similar size to Laughton who has become a useful offensive player in addition to being a regular on the penalty kill and being a flexible option who can play center and wing. A UFA in 2021 Laughton, despite his versatility, isn’t a lock to be resigned. His role could be inherited by a player like Desnoyers at some point. He’ll join a crowded list of guys looking to compete for bottom 6 depth roles in the coming years.
If you’ve missed them, we’ve talked Tyson Foerster, Emil Andrade, and Zayde Wilson already. Be sure to catch up on those if you need to and be on the lookout for one more player summary on Connor McClennon.