Meet The New No. 1 Pick In the 2009 NHL Entry Draft: Matt Duchene

Martin AverySenior Writer IApril 22, 2009

The Red Line Report now ranks John Tavares as the third-best prospect in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Matt Duchene has replaced him at the No. 1 spot.

Red Line Report rated Tavares the third-best prospect behind Sweden's Victor Hedman and Brampton Battalian centre Matt Duchene in its preliminary rankings, it has been reported widely.

Duchene's Battalion leads the Belleville Bulls, 2-1, in the the OHL's semifinals, and Tavare's London Knights are down 3-1 to the Windsor Spitfires. Tavare's team is facing elimination.

According to the scouting service, Tavares's stock plummeted as a result of his performance in the OHL playoffs.

The New York Islanders have first pick in the draft and were expected to select Tavares but Islanders GM Garth Snow is on the record saying he wanted to review the top prospects.

The Colorado Avalanche have stated their intentions of landing Duchene. He comes from a village a hundred miles north of Toronto, which should make the Toronto Maple Leafs interested in him.

Who is Matt Duchene? He is known in some quarters as the most well rounded player in the draft. He is very fast, a great passer, kills penalties, and has a good shot, too.

Some compare him to Zach Parise for his perpetual motion. The Colorado Avalanche compare him to Joe Sakic and seem as his possible replacement, according to the Denver Post.

Matt Duchene of the Brampton Battalion is the Bobby Smith Trophy winner as the OHL's Scholastic Player of the Year, according to Our Sports Central. Duchene attended Turner Fenton Secondary School in Brampton while playing for the Battalion.

He is keeping up with six courses including Grade 12 University classes. He has an 85 percent average in English and 82 in Law.

Duchene has an overall average of 85 percent and has been described by teachers as being a leader and a role model in class.

In his second season with the Battalion, Duchene scored 31 goals and 48 assists for 79 points in 57 games ranking 14th in league scoring.

He scored 25 multi-point games including a five-point game with a hat-trick and two assists January 8th in a 6-2 win over the Sudbury Wolves as first star of the game.
He also represented the Battalion and the Eastern Conference at the 2009 OHL All-Star Classic.

The Bobby Smith Trophy is presented to the OHL Scholastic Player of the year who best combines high standards of play and academic excellence. The trophy is in honour of Bobby Smith, who exhibited a standard of excellence in both of these areas.

Duchene was born in 1991 in Peterborough and the village of Haliburton, near Algonquin Park, is his hometown.

He is 5-foot-11, weighs 190, plays centre, and shoots left. He is the captain of the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League, according to their webpage.

Haliburton is the original home of NHL players Ron Stackhouse and Bernie Nicholls. Camp Rock was filmed there.

Duchene was the Battalion's first round choice in the 2007 OHL Priority Selection after a stellar 2006-07 season with the Central Ontario Wolves AAA minor midgets and the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School team.

In 52 games with the Central Ontario Wolves AAA Minor Mid, Duchene scored 69 goals and added another 37 assists for a total of 106 points. 

In his first season in the OHL, last year, in 64 games with the Brampton Battalion, he netted 30 goals and added 20 assists for a total of 50 points.

He completed his rookie season in April by leading Canada's gold medal winning team in goals at the 2008 IIHF under-18 championship at Russia and he scored five goals in seven games.

He was captain of Canada's championship team at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic in August 2008, earning his third international gold medal in less than eight months.

He led Canada's gold medal-winning team in goals at the 2008 IIHF under-18 championship at Russia. He was one of four underage players on the Canadian squad.
He became the only first-year player in Battalion history to record two three-goal games.

He was the leading scorer for gold medal-winning Team Ontario at the 2008 World Under-17 Challenge at London, Ontario, scoring four goals and adding six assists for 10 points in six games.

He is the nephew of Anaheim Ducks' assistant coach Newell Brown, who was a member of the 1980 Memorial Cup champion Cornwall Royals. His cousin Adam Brown is a rookie goaltender with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL.

He started playing organized hockey with the Haliburton Huskies when he was four, and one year later joined players who were two years older.

His father, Vince, was a goaltender for the Minden Monarchs who won the all-Ontario juvenile championship in 1984-85.

Duchene competes in several other sports and won a bronze medal in discus at the 2006 OFSSAA track and field championships. He also plays competitive soccer and badminton, enjoys fishing for walleye and lake trout.

He is a player who loves to compete. This guy is a big time future NHL scorer, according to


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