The Toronto Maple Leafs selected William Villeneuve an 18-year-old defender who is an offensive force for the Saint John Sea Dogs. He is a righty, and is listed at 6’1” and 181 lbs.
Villeneuve is from Sherbrooke, QC, and was ranked as high (somewhat surprisingly) at 50th by Future Considerations. He was 99th for North American skaters on the NHL’s list. McKeen’s had him 105, and Craig Button had him 104.
We just happen to have a complete draft profile for you right here:
William Villeneuve’s backstory is pretty much the exact opposite of Tristen Robins. He was picked 2nd overall in the QMJHL draft. He had 19 points for Saint John in his rookie season as a 16/17 year old. He played for Canada’s Red Team in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where he had 4 points in 6 games. So he’s always had some hype around him.
This season, he led all his team in points 58 in 64 games. As a 17-year-old, draft-eligible defenseman. That was also good enough to lead all defensemen in the league in points — not all draft-eligible defensemen, ALL defensemen regardless of age.
He played on the top pair for Saint John even last season. He has been played in all situations: top minutes at even strength, on the powerplay and on the penalty kill.
But he did not play for Canada at the Hlinka. He was invited to the WJC training camp but didn’t make the roster. And now his NHL draft rankings have fallen out of the first three rounds, if Bob McKenzie’s rankings are to be believed. All despite being a 6’1”, right shot defenseman who can lead his team and all defensemen in points. What gives?
Read the article above to find out the answer to that and to why this player is this low in the draft.
Some more scouting reports:
It's plays like this that make me regret being so low on William Villeneuve in my past couple of rankings. Brick wall at the blue-line. Great strip of the puck on the PK. #2020NHLDraft | @FCHockey pic.twitter.com/sgDPrrVhzl— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) March 1, 2020
William Villeneuve takes the ice in front of him, enters the zone with control and dishes to Jérémie Poirier who scores. I really like Villeneuve-- not afraid to skate with the puck and can make positive plays offensively and in transition. pic.twitter.com/e1j1F6oCN2— Sam (@DraftLook) April 11, 2020
We finally get our second Willie.
Saint John d-man William Villeneuve on being picked 122nd overall— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 7, 2020
"It's been a long day, a stressful day … I was watching it from my billet [home]. Unfortunately my family are in Quebec & with COVID [restrictions] they weren't able to come see me. So, it's a little bit sad ..."
Right shot d-man William Villeneuve is listed as 6-foot-1, 175 pounds— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 7, 2020
"The second I stepped into the league my defensive game was weak a little bit. I'm not an extremely big defenceman, [don't] weigh a lot so that's something I've worked on the last two years in Saint John ..."