Remi Elie was the most controversial pick of the 2013 NHL Draft for the Dallas Stars. He was drafted with the 40th pick in the draft, ahead of other high ranking prospects such as Robert Hagg, Nicolas Petan and Artturi Lehkonen.
Elie entered the draft in his rookie year in the OHL playing on the fourth line on the deepest team in the OHL, the London Knights. He performed very well in his role as a fourth liner and managed to put up 17 points in 65 games. While these may not seem to be amazing numbers for a 40th overall pick the tools for something better than that were there.
He was fast and he could shoot extremely well and he isn't afraid to be physical. However entering this season I had worries about whether he would be able to blossom into an offensive threat that I felt he could be. On the London Knights, especially after they made some moves to bring in other forwards in, Elie could not get those top six minutes he needed to develop into a stronger offensive player.
During his time with the London Knights his role was to be a defensive grinding forward and learnt those skills pretty well. It was why his points total was impressive because he was so far down the depth chart and was getting limited ice time.
After six games with the London Knights this season he was on his way to the Belleville Bulls where he immediately joined their top six forward grouping. He leads the Bulls in points with 56 points in 52 games for the Bulls and with 59 points in 58 games throughout the entire season.
Soon after the trade I wrote an article about the possibilities for Elie after joining the Belleville Bulls in October. He is getting the big offensive minutes and is responding with more goals and more assists. As I said back in October:
Elie in Belleville has a better chance of realizing the upside that the Stars saw in him when they took him 40th in the 2013 NHL Draft than he had in London. Lots of ice time, even on a team that isn't in its glory days, can help the development of a prospect. Just look at Jyrki Jokipakka.
Remi Elie has become reassuringly consist in his production with his longest pointless streak being four games. For a player as young as him it is good to see that he can produce consistently instead of in highly concentrated bursts. The hope now is that he can continue this upward trajectory into next season.
Can he become one of the top forwards in the OHL? He is one of the main guys in Belleville and if he continues to take the steps forward he could become an excellent forward.
Remi Elie has one of the later birth dates of the 2013 NHL Draft and will be in the OHL for another season at least before he is eligible for the pros. That means he will have another year to develop in the OHL and to become an even better and well rounded player. This year he has taken a step up and is beginning to show why the Stars took him so high in the draft.
I'm hoping that he will take another step forward and become one of the top forwards in the OHL before heading to Austin and the Texas Stars for the 2015-2016 season.