defenseman Maxim Lamarche is a likely addition
to the Adirondack Phantoms this year. Flyers Inside
Reporter Anthony SanFilippo has the story.
Defense - Shoots Right
Born July 11, 1992 (21) - Laval, Quebec
Height 6-3 - Weight 218
2012-13 - Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL) - 55 games:
9 goals, 34 assists, 43 points, 63 PIM, +31 rating
Late-bloomer Lamarche hoping to prove that he
belongs on the professional level
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside
VOORHEES, N.J. – You can call Maxim Lamarche
a late-bloomer if you want, and you wouldn’t
After all, Lamarche, 21, didn’t have a
breakout season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey
League until he was an overage player last season.
However, sometimes in the sport of hockey, it’s
more about the untapped potential of a player
than it is a player finally figuring out his game
to earn that late-bloomer tag.
Sometimes they coincide, and that may have been
the case for Lamarche last season with the Baie-Comeau
Drakkar in the QMJHL. Or, it could have been a
change around the Drakkar that finally brought
Lamarche’s games to the forefront.
In his first three seasons with the Drakkar,
Lamarche played for coaches who believed in a
more defensive system, which really didn’t
allow for him to showcase his two-way skill.
Then a change was made last season to Eric Veilleux
as coach. Veilleux had a successful run as the
coach of the Shawinigan Cataracts where he had
just one losing season in seven years behind their
He brought with him a more up-tempo system, not
too unlike the one employed by Flyers coach Peter
Laviolette, and it was an immediate hit. The Drakkar
scored the most goals it has as a team since the
season was reduced to a 68-game schedule. And
with offensive pressure being the key, the Drakkar
also allowed the fewest goals in franchise history.
It was a style that got them to the QMJHL Finals
for the first time in the 16-year history of the
A lot of players found success under Veilleux’s
leadership, but maybe none more than Lamarche,
who became the quarterback of the Baie-Comeau
offense from the blue line.
After averaging just 23 points in each of his
first three seasons in the QMJHL, LaMarche nearly
doubled that last season – and did so despite
missing 13 games due to a leg injury.
LaMarche, 6-3, 218, finished with nine goals
and 34 assists for 43 points in just 55 regular
season games. He added three goals and eight assists
for 11 points in 19 playoff games.
But more importantly, he rounded out his game
enough that several NHL teams felt that he just
might be ready to play the game at the next level.
“Maxim’s resume is that of another
guy who went undrafted but was a big part of his
junior team for three solid years,” said
Flyers Director of Scouting Chris Pryor. “He
continually got better every year. He’s
a big, thick kid who is strong and is a good competitor.
“Guys with those qualities give themselves
a chance in pro hockey because of their maximum
effort and their work ethic.”
Pryor said that Quebec area scouts Todd Hearty
and Simon Nolet have been following Lamarche for
a few years and although they liked him a little
bit after the 2011-12 season, their interest spiked
considerably following his breakout campaign last
“He’s a big body who isn’t
fancy or flashy but he gets the job done,”
said Flyers Director of Player Development Ian
Laperriere. “I saw him play last year in
the playoffs and then I talked to (Veilleux) and
he said he’s a kid who works as hard off
the ice as he does on it and that he’s a
real character kid – and that’s something
you always want in your organization.”
And since signing with the Flyers on May 31,
Lamarche has exuded those same characteristics.
He changed his summer workout regiment to train
with Stephane Dube, a long-time strength and conditioning
coach who has worked with a bevy of NHL players
over the past two decades – including Laperriere.
“I’m training with pro guys for the
first time,” said Lamarche. Who could pass
for Simon Gagne’s younger brother. ”It’s
been good for me to see how they train both in
the gym and on the ice.”
Lamarche has also spent a decent amount of time
in Philadelphia this summer, and wanted to get
back to the area early in anticipation of rookie
camp, which begins next week.
And in the process, he’s on the ice practicing
with the Flyers defensemen, and getting a quick
“It’s amazing to just be out there
with Kimmo [Timonen] and [Braydon] Coburn,”
Lamarche said. “[Nick] Grossmann and Bruno
[Gervais] too. They practice and train at another
step higher than I’m used to. It’s
good to learn how they do that and to see the
speed of the game.”
Lamarche is likely ticketed to start the season
with the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL where
he will be part of an interesting defensive corps
for coach Terry Murray that will likely feature
three guys with NHL experience in Brandon Manning,
Matt Konan and Oliver Lauridsen as well as another
solid defensive prospect in Mark Alt.
But Lamarche isn’t worried about where
he will play this season. As of now he only cares
about keeping his head down, and his work ethic
“I just want to work hard and I have a
good work ethic and I want to keep it that way,”
Lamarche said. That’s one of my strengths.
Just keep working every day and doing what the
team wants so I can get better. It’s been
good so far, so I’m going to keep doing
it and we’ll see.”
And so will the Flyers. Considering they’ve
liked what they’ve seen so far, they’re
hoping that the natural progression for a player
like Lamarche continues to reap the rewards that
a worker like him continues to sow.
To contact Anthony SanFilippo email firstname.lastname@example.org
or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37
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