by Corey Pronman
Here’s a quick write up on Nicolas Deschamps, the prospect acquired by Toronto for Luca Caputi. Caputi still has a chance at a 4th line role in the NHL maybe, but injuries have seriously derailed his career. I think despite Deschamps not having great counting numbers this season in the AHL, he is the better prospect.
Report: Deschamps has solid puck skills and is very capable of bringing the puck up over the blue line and making people miss, and he has the passing technique to be a fine distributor. He has decent vision and awareness to be a playmaker, but isn’t a high-grade player in that aspect either. He shows a decent defensive game, positions himself well on the ice and will come back to cover his assignments well on top of showing fine work on the penalty kill. Deschamps has had some adjustment issues in the AHL and at times has not looked like the sharp and aware forward that he was in the QMJHL. His frame is pretty slight and physically, he’s fringe compared to pro players, although he will go to the net. His skating is fluid, and shows nice agility but he lacks a pro top speed; overall, I’d grade the tool as below-average.
He has enough possession skills and a decent enough two way-game that it’s plausible he can project to be a fine third line player in terms of upside and I think I can safely project him to eventually end up on a bottom six outside of a fighter type of role.
I’m assuming Anaheim gave up on Deschamps, going for the more NHL ready player whose value is replacement worthy at best. While Deschamps has not produced much this year, it is due to an assist rate that has plummeted from his career norms. I have not seen him this year, but without knowing about any drastic change in his talent level, the safe bet is to chalk it up to luck rather than him forgetting all of a sudden how to set up his team mates. I will do more due diligence on Deschamps though during his time in Toronto.
The only issue I see for Deschamps is if he doesn’t up his physical game enough that would partially contribute to not being able to provide sufficient defensive value in a bottom six role given his only slightly above-average possession skills.